Welcome to Crown Hill Explorers!
I am excited to see all of you as we start our new school year. It is a different start to our school year but I think it will be a great adventure this year. It is an adventure for all of us as we re-think the world we knew and discover new things about ourselves, our families and our community. I will never take for granted giving someone a hug. I will value human interaction more than I had in the past and I will continue to work on ways to connect with the people in my life. This morning I waited patiently for the gentleman in front of me in the grocery line to go and get something he needed -- masks! He was almost finished when he realized he had not found them and was wanting them. It was a simple gesture but it meant a lot to him to not have to get back in line to purchase the masks. I think it is important to take time to connect with other people right now. What can you do each day to connect with your child? To make a stranger feel better with a kind gesture or action? To give yourself a hug and say to yourself I can do this? As we start this year I will miss the way I have always started the school year but I will treasure the fact that we can still connect with each other, that we can still share a smile or action that makes someone feel better, and we can do this together! We will be a stronger community as we move through this adventure together.
During our first week we will be learning about ME!. We will have a story called
I LIKE ME and we will sing songs that talk about ‘me’ and ‘my body’.
This whole year we will talk about our 5 Senses. As we help children see the world around them we can also help them ‘see’ with their hands, their nose, their ears and their mouth. I will encourage you to take the children out in nature and to explore their world using their 5 Senses. I will also encourage you to read to them. There are so many books that will help your child to ‘see’ the world through literature. Take the time to explore both the physical world around you and to explore the world of books.
Use the words associated with our senses when you are outside exploring and inside your home when you are talking with your child.
You can ask your child to ‘listen’ as they crunch the leaves on a walk, ‘look’ at the colors of the leaves in the trees, ‘taste’ the apple they have for a snack, ‘smell’ the food as it cooks for dinner and ‘feel’ the slippery soap during their bath.
This year we will spend a lot of time encouraging the children to engage in the world around them by using their 5 Senses and developing an awareness of how their body works by interacting with their world – inside and outside.
“This is the Way” Circle Time - page 51
This is the way we wash our hands,
wash our hands, wash our hands.
This is the way we wash our hands
So early in the morning.
We will add this song to our list of songs this week. Washing hands has always been important for the children but it is even more important this fall. It is a fun song to sing while they wash their hands and brush their teeth. You can add verses to the song to help your child with an activity they may not want to do. Singing is a great way to ease a power struggle when asking your child to do something they may not be all that excited to do -- put on your shoes, get in your car seat, pick up your toys. You can add verses that are things they are struggling with or things that are just fun. Singing uses different brain pathways and can help a child to manage a difficult situation as well as just adding fun and enjoyment to their day.
I look forward to getting to know you and your child this year!
It is hard to believe tomorrow is September! I love the beginning of Fall but I am always sad to see Summer end. At the moment it seems we are being given a gift of both seasons! Crisp, foggy mornings turning to warm, sunny afternoons with clear evenings. With the yesterday’s surprise rain we will have a wonderful view of the stars and the amazing moon tonight
This will be a great week to venture out on a destination hike. With the change in the weather there is so much to see and experience while on a hike. It is a perfect time to explore the textures of nature on your hike. You can pick up a green leaf and feel the difference between it and a brown leaf that has fallen from the tree. Find a tree that has smooth bark and one that has rough bark. Already did that on a previous walk? Well, guess what?! They will find this a new and fun game on this walk as well. Please, remember repetition is how they learn.
Take a piece of paper and a fat crayon to make bark prints, rub the crayon on the paper as it rests on the tree bark and talk about how one is different from the other.
If you are at the beach you can do the texture print using a piece driftwood and a seashell. Send them on a scavenger hunt to find things that are the same or different. What can they find that is smooth and slimy, smooth and cold, smooth and soft? What can they find that is rough and hard? How is a barnacle different from the rock it is attached to? So many different textures at the beach…so much fun to exploring.
As the sand slides through their hand talk about how it feels. Is it cold? Is it smooth or gritty?
When they touch the tree bark you can ask, 'What does the bark on that tree look like?'
While you have a conversation about texture you can add new words to their vocabulary. Be sure to use words they are familiar with to help build their vocabulary. They might already know “wet” but “moist” may be a new word for them. Giving them examples of gradation is a way to build their vocabulary. Wet – soaked, moist, damp. Rough – bumpy, ridges, smooth. Soft – pliable, delicate, hard. Find words that are intriguing to them and add them to their vocabulary.
Play with words and make a game using them. Zoe just realized that coat and boat rhyme. She loved saying the two words over and over again as she made this discovery. Children like playing with words just like they like playing with their toys. Silly words, words that sound the same, words that can be said in a different tone. Playing is how they learn.
There are so many discoveries you can make outside in nature. They can use all of their senses: they can see their world all around them, there is always something making a noise to hear, they can learn to touch living things gently, there are things they can eat (be sure to teach them the importance of checking before putting something in their mouth) and things they can smell. The outdoor world is a place of adventure. It is a place they can sit still and watch or run and be free to move their bodies. Enjoy taking a walk or hike outside this week. Nature’s wonders are waiting for you. Go outside and find them!
Here are three places to go and explore – Danielle, Ansel and Zoe tested ;-)