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Week of October 17

What Happened?

Different ways to express ourselves: The children expressed their ideas to build leaf mountains and enjoyed jumping in; the magical patterns and colours seen in rotting wood was imagined to be toxic waste to be dumped, and dozens of squirmy worms were found and sold at the worm farm. The children also expressed so many emotions outwardly as they discussed ideas, designed plans and debated with each other! Stories like The Princess and the Wizard allow children to act out different emotions and express them together in their different ways. The children also expressed themselves with leaf art, drawing, and a bubble dance party with music. There was treasure hunting and pirate ship drawing, slime making and painting. A mink was spotted hunting frogs on the shore of the river and swimming in the river. Emotions were high at this point: Excitement for the new animal, sadness for the frogs, and wonderment for the mink's ability to swim! We celebrate how all the children are growing in confidence, voice, and actions: Daisy has matured to allow her mom to leave for a few hours and loves to discover and play with small creatures. Thomas and Wolfgang made magic potions and we practiced different ways to show kindness towards our own emotions and others. Sonny shared at the meeting circle for the first time! Zoe W loves pretending to be a cow. Isaac S is so ready to start a band, measure distances and build levers!! Oliver is feeling more like a leader this year with his confidence in sharing ideas, collaborating with others, and care for the younger children! The werewolf howls were intense! Hide and seek rules, barriers, friendships, lift off points and zombie potions keep us on our toes! Colourful leaves change with the sun and continue to fall, decorating our forest floor. However, it can make the ground slippery and easy to loose items under the leaves. Please encourage your children to keep their clothes on, and if they take anything off to tell a teacher!!

What Does It Mean?

Our new unit inquiring into how we express our ideas and our emotions are providing a cornucopia of rich learning experiences for the children. Their comfort level with each other from the past six weeks shows they are ready to dive in and practice handling challenging emotions. We will provide support , tools and strategies along the way. Breathing tools are key, some tools we use are linked here. Blowing bubbles, or pretending to be a certain animal, like a big panda bear or the big bad wolf. Children experience the thrill and satisfaction of sharing their ideas and imagination with peers and caring adults. Letters and sounds are discussed in small group or one-on-one direct teaching, during story time and in the context of play and exploration. Games incorporate concepts of numbers, sounds, and movement that help build upon the children's vocabulary. The endless time in water play allows the opportunities to understand how the world works - flow, water levels, sounds, temperature, buoyancy, weight, measurment and design thinking.

What's Next?

Our letters for the coming week are H, B, and F. We will continue to practice one-to-one correspondence in counting, and identifying patterns. We will share ideas each session to plan creative ways to express them through play, stories and art. We will continue to explore and enjoy the forest.

Our quote from Anita this week reminds us to take off our shoes!

Holy Ground

by Macrina Wiederkehr

My bare feet walk the earth reverently

For everything keeps crying,

Take off your shoes

The ground you stand on is holy

The ground of your being is holy.

When the wind sings through the pines

Like a breath of Life

awakening you to the sacred present

calling your soul to new insights

Take off your shoes!

When the sun rises above your rooftop

Coloring your world with dawn

Be receptive to this awesome beauty

Put on your garment of adoration

Take off your shoes!

When the Red Maple drops its last leaf of summer

wearing its “burning bush” robes no longer

read between its barren branches, and

Take off your shoes!

When a new person comes into your life

like a mystery about to unfold

and you find yourself marveling over

the frailty and splendor of every human being

Take off your shoes!

When, during the wee hours of the night

You drive slowly into the new day

And the morning’s fog, like angel wings

Hovers mysteriously above you

Take off your shoes!

Take off your shoes of distraction

Take off your shoes of ignorance and blindness

Take off your shoes of hurry and worry

Take off anything that prevents you

from being a child of wonder.

Take off your shoes;

The ground you stand on is holy.

The ground you are is holy.

From Seasons of Your Heart: Prayers and Reflections, Revised and Expanded, by Macrina Wiederkehr (New York: HarperCollins, 1991).

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