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Showing posts from February, 2016

Unplugged and Updates

The Joy of the Unplugged, and Saying "No" to Electronic Toys
If you've taken a good look at the back playground recently, besides some slidey ice arena-like conditions, you'll notice that there are not a lot of "things" to play with. Currently you'll find some blocks, shovels, various pipes/tubes, a wheeled cart, some buckets, and a few balls. As the weather turned to winter, a lot of the smaller toys (scoops, cups, sandbox items) went into storage, and we began to make do with a little less. In having "less" to play with, I'd argue that we gained quite a lot. We interact more with our environment instead of being as focused on the specific toys and who has what. Don't get me wrong, that green wagon is highly sought after, but in general, we're playing more with things like sticks, we're climbing up and sliding down the hills, finding pieces of ice to kick around or nibble on, and using the (available) snow to play or build with…

Words on Reflection, Updates, and Hearts!

Reflection: Key to Successful Teaching
There are plenty of times throughout the calendar year where moments of pause and reflection are almost built in. The start of a new year or new month come to mind, perhaps the change of seasons. These little signposts along the road sometimes give us the push we need to take stock of all the goings on in our lives, and can encourage us to think about what's going well, what's not, and how to change or improve for the better.

My view on reflection shifted a bit as a result of my education. Thanks to some good fortune and hard work, I was able to attend the University of Vermont in the Masters of Teaching program. While there, I was a part of the "cohort" model of learning. This embedded fifteen people in a year-long student teaching experience, all while taking full schedule graduate coursework together. We saw a lot of each other; it was like MTV's old "Real World" show...although we were not living together, and we…

Some Early Season Fun in the Mud...

Well the groundhog did not see his shadow, so we're in for an early spring. That is, if it hasn't already arrived! We've been sloshing in the mud, are a little less bundled, and have noticed the light stretches into the end of our school day.

A few quick notes: We will be closed on Monday February 15th in observance of President's Day, we will reopen on Tuesday the 16th.  

The newsletter will take a tiny hiatus next week, and will return after President's Day with all the usual news (I'll be cooking up some food for thought reading too, so stay tuned).

Classroom Happenings
Infant I: The room is on the move in a big way. Some of the children have been visiting the neighboring classroom to spend time exploring the larger play structure. They love crawling through the tunnel and heading down the slide. They have also been eager to play on the rocking boat and snail rocking chair. There has been a new interest in singing songs and dancing. In fact, one of the older inf…