Our magical week of sun last week seemed to bring out of the shadows much of the new learning and skills showing up around Elm House. With the sunny weather, kiddos were eager to get outside, dig in the sandbox, dip their hands (and all sorts of other things!) in the water table, run and shout and jump and climb, and in that mix we as teachers had the joy of observing our abilities grow.
The new refrain around the school seems to be: “I can do it!”, “My try!”, “My do it!” as kiddos feel their autonomy out and practice skills on their own. I’ve even heard a lot of requests to “look at me!” and “watch this!” which gives me a thrill each time I hear one, knowing each of our children feels a swell of pride in themselves and stretching themselves when they wish to be recognized.
Recent reflections on this group also show how much they are able to work through conflicts, minor disagreements, and work together on their own. As they interact with the space and the natural world, there is a growing desire to share their discoveries with their peers, get friends involved in completing tasks and making things, and to work things out.
Finally, even among the youngest children I’m seeing those connections. Last week I brought in some colorful Washi tape and put out several pieces to tear up, wear, or manipulate freely in the nest. I also decorated the windows and our snack table, since Washi is very easy to clean up ;). My crew did some delighted interaction taking the tape down, wearing the tape on their bodies as tattoos or stickers. BL pointed out that the shapes were triangles and a conversation started about what colors we noticed. While some of us were picking out colors, BL went to the light table and took out the Magnatiles, looking through the colorful triangles and bringing different colored triangles over.
The next day I had ER, who had been in our triangle Washi group, in another afternoon group. The day before she hadn’t seemed too interested after claiming a tattoo for her hand, and moving on to other play. But this day she chose all the triangles out of a basket of Magnatiles and proceeded to use them exclusively in her ongoing firefighter game. “It’s fire!” she exclaimed, enthusiastically. The game then became who had what color triangle, and if water or fire was coming out of it.