A Place to Connect Teachers and Support Children

Archive for August, 2015

Together we Stand

Every year, building our classroom community is one of my ultimate favorite things to do! I love it because I feel we begin to build our “family.”  We learn how we can work together as a team, support each other, and be the best we can be!  Every year our classroom community looks different.  We have a basic foundation to our framework but each year the children lead us.

This year, I decided to use the book The Peaceful Classroom: 162 Easy Activities to Teach Preschoolers Compassion and Cooperation By Charles A. Smith, PhD as a supplement to my teaching.  This book offers activities to build and then support the classroom “family.”  One of our favorite songs from the book so far is below. We are currently using this song to  start our group.  In the book the rhyme goes as follows:

Hands together, make a group

Hands together, make a group

All together, here we stand

This is our group, so lend a hand

After trying to follow the lyrics, the children condensed it and made it their own by chanting:

Together we stand and we lend a hand!

A few days ago, I forgot to begin group this way.  I was quickly reminded it was time to link hands and chant.  When a friend had to get up to wipe his nose and wash his hands, we all waited to make sure he was a part of the song.

Teachers: What is something you do to build classroom community?

Families: What is a ritual from your family?

The Benefits of the Outdoor Classroom

How do you teach living and non-living? How do you teach the growth cycle? How do you teach about shadows? insects?

I hear these questions from parents, training teachers and SAU students as they try to learn more about our program and our classrooms.  We are lucky enough to have a wonderful outdoor space we call the Beehive.  This environment is my third and best teacher! It allows me to support and foster learning, curriculum goals, a love for nature, living things and the world around us.

As I was touring a family last week, the parent told me that they love our “playground.”  He then said, “This area is not a playground! This is an outdoor learning space! Learning is found everywhere.” As he looked around, he looked at each of the activities being facilitated at that time.  I looked around with him and couldn’t help but think the same thing.

Photo Jul 30, 11 11 02 AM

Here is a picture to capture the beauty of outdoor learning.  If you look really closely on the child’s hand you can see our discovery! (I’ll give you a hint, it’s green!) Happy learning!

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