Tag Archives: peer learning in preschool

Painting with Consent

By Katee

We practiced asking for consent more today at circle, role playing different scenarios and asking for volunteers to act them out. We practiced asking for a hug, asking to participate in a game, and also saying “stop!” if a hug or a game doesn’t feel comfortable any longer.

To further this idea we had a small group appointment where we painted with consent from partners.  The participants did some finger painting, but shared one large piece of paper and had to ask their partner if it was okay with them as well.5-DSC_0050

GNF: “Can I put blue dots on the paper?”
EP: “yes!”

GNF waited patiently with eye contact waiting for consent from other partner…
NCC: “hmm….okay!”

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Caring for Eachother

Caring for Ourselves,careforeachother

Caring for Each Other,

and Caring for our Environment.

These are the three main agreements of our classroom at Tulip Tree Preschool, and the reasoning behind any of our other agreements.  Last week we thought about how we can take care of our selves.  The children, along with Alisha, collaborated on a list and turned it into a wonderful book for our classroom. This week we will focus on the second agreement- taking care of each other.

What does taking care of each other look like in early childhood?  Maybe it is helping a friend feel better. Maybe it is making sure we keep our voices at a level that is kind to everyone’s ears. Or maybe it is the realization that we’ve hurt someone and figuring out what it means to make amends. For people developing out of the “parallel play” years into a more social way of being, this can be a very unfamiliar territory.

The children worked on a list today during circle time and some chose to explore the topic further during our “explore time”.  While Alisha narrated some common preschool scenarios, the children acted out the scenes. They discussed sharing and negotiating with our materials, helping a friend who is hurt, helping a friend to stand up, helping each other learn about self-care, and sticking up for each other.

Our Changing Community

By Laura

1-DSC_0006As the school year winds to a close there is a lot of talk and anticipation of how our school community will change and stay the same. The children who will be attending kindergarten in the fall are talking a lot about graduation, summer plans and where they will be going to school. Some children will attend one or more of our summer camp sessions and some will not. Some children will be back at Tulip Tree in the fall and some will not. And some teachers will be returning and others will not. We are all (young and old) mid-process in trying to wrap our heads around these transitions, so I wanted to figure out a way to think and talk about all of these changes with the whole group using concrete props.

2-DSC_0009This morning I printed off a picture of all the kids and grown-ups who are here on Fridays and taped them to little wooden blocks. At circle time I introduced each person in the photo and placed each one in the center of the rug. I explained that we were going to tell the story about the fall (which will arrive after a nice long summer). And we would use the blocks to map out where everyone in our community would be in the fall.

3-DSC_0010We started with the children. Together, using information provided by each individual, we sorted them into three different places: kindergarten, Tulip Tree, and other preschools. The preschoolers were eager to share their own stories and to notice where their classmates ended up.

4-DSC_0012When we started talking about the grown-ups, I told them that both Becky and I would not be at Tulip Tree in the fall. Although, the concreteness of the exercise was intended to help the children, I must say that putting my photo block on an unlabeled board separate from all the others definitely deepened the reality for me, too. I felt a pang of loneliness placing my block; the risk of my upcoming leap into the unknown after being held so lovingly by such a sweet community for such a long time. Continue reading

Afternoon Dance Party Goes Outside

By Laura

For those of you who have never witnessed the afternoon dance party, it has become an institution around here. And now that the days are long and the weather fair, the portable speaker has come outside. The play list includes everyone’s favorites: the gummy bear song, move it move it, the chicken dance, we are the champions, I love rock and roll, pink fluffy unicorns, we are the dinosaurs…

Sculpting Wolf Stories

By Laura

I have been thinking about ways to continue to connect the children to the information and stories that were shared during the wolf presentation. We have had invitations to draw from photos of wolves (and their prey) on the tables during the morning play time. And on both Wednesday and Friday I held a small group clay appointment, posing the following question to the preschoolers: how can you use clay to tell the stories we learned during the wolf presentation? Today the group focused primarily on the mechanics of building a wolf and building a den: they were focusing on the story of the mama wolf digging a den for her and her wolf pups. They used a variety of strategies with differing degrees of effectiveness and differing degrees of frustration. The group as a whole learned a lot about the clay today. Even if they have a more open-ended invitation to work with it in the future, I have a hunch that this work with more constraints pushed them toward coming up with some new solutions for expressing themselves with this media.

The Den – The basic problem involved how to create the negative space inside of a den.

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