Play is the work of children, so we call our play time Work Time. During this extended period (80 minutes each day), the children use the entire classroom as they explore, solve problems, make discoveries, enjoy friendships, and learn about the world. Julie and I observe, and lend a hand when its needed, but for the most part, the children use this time with determination and focus.
Our block and dramatic play areas are used together, since blocks are an open-ended material that lends itself to all kinds of discovering.
Other areas of the room include the art area, the sensory table (which has been host to sand, water, and now beans), the writing and game area, the library area, and the manipulative area.
Ask your child where s/he likes to play, and what s/he does there.
We have been working hard to make applesauce from all of the beautiful fruit we brought back from the orchard on Wednesday.
Yesterday, the children worked with me to learn knife safety skills, and then used them to cut lots and lots of apples which we cooked in my Crockpot. This afternoon, we cut more apples, and used a food mill to turn the pulp into beautiful, rosy applesauce for the Harvest Dinner.
What a glorious day we all shared at Vermont Technical College. The weather was perfect, and, while the apples weren’t exactly plentiful, we managed to gather enough for applesauce, pies, and snacking. I’m especially appreciative of the managers of this orchard who graciously allow us to gather fruit without charge.
Thank you so much for the parents who joined us. Crystal, Amanda, Nicole, Brittany, Gretchen, Stacey, and Stephanie, we couldn’t have managed without you!!!
Wow, I had hoped (I’ll even admit, expected) to return to school after vacation, and enjoy sunshine and warmth. Humph! I keep forgetting that this is Vermont.
Everyone was in high spirits, yesterday, and enjoyed exploring the classroom and favorite materials. The morning group had made a batch of “slime” and many of the children worked with that during work time.
We’ve been busy with so many things, lately, that’s it’s hard to know where to focus this entry. Since the circus is a big focus of the entire school, I’ll talk about our class’s participation. We haven;t yet met with Kevin from Circus Minimus, but have been reading books about the circus and brainstorming what everyone knows about the circus. This afternoon, the children talked about the animals one might see under the big top.
The list included
bears (oh my)
clowns (the children weren’t really sure if clowns are people or animals, but some sort of combination)
During work time, some children had an opportunity to work in paper mache with me to create an animal they liked.
Every child will have a chance to create an animal over the next few days. We hope to have them available in the block area.
Our first Tea Time was absolutely lovely. The children really used the skills they had learned in the weeks before vacation, and we enjoyed almost half an hour of conversation, delicious food (thank you Stella and Kamden!), and a beautifully set table.
On Tuesday, we prepared for Tea by making S’Mores Treats. On Wednesday, the children made sandwiches. They cut the crusts off of bread, spread peanut butter, or butter, and then talked about ow to cut their sandwiches in halves and quarters.
Everyone also made a place card so we would know where to sit.
We worked together to set the table with a tablecloth, plates, napkins, forks and spoons, and cups and saucers. It really looked nice. Then we found our places, and put our napkins on our laps. We poured and tasted mint tea, and ate savories and sweets. We listened to Mozart and enjoyed each other’s company.
We are getting ready for one of the most exciting experiences of our class. Tea Time will start soon after vacation.
Many years ago, Julie and I used to go out for tea when we just wanted to relax and enjoy talking with each other. One day, we decided that the children in our preschool class might enjoy that same experience, and we were right!
Tea Time is an opportunity for everyone to learn about special manners and new foods. We listen to quiet music, use real tea cups and tea pots, and really enjoy each other’s company. Tea Time will start after vacation and will happen every Wednesday., We have a lot to do to get ready!
Yesterday, we read The Tiger Who Came To Tea, about a little girl and her mom who entertain a tiger for tea. Ask your child what the tiger did! Then the children practiced pouring water into our child-size tea cups.
This afternoon, the children practiced setting the table. We used cloth napkins, plates, cups and saucers, forks, and spoons.
We’ll be all ready when it’s time to get ready for Tea Time!
At the end of the year, everyone’s parents will be invited to a tea party.