We had a busy day! This morning we studied a beautiful photograph. We worked on talking about interesting things they noticed, not just naming things in the photograph. We also talked about things we wondered about after studying the photograph. This photograph had a lot of students thinking they were seeing a tornado, but it is a very special kind of cloud. We will be learning more about clouds this week!
Ask me to tell you about the photograph.
We read a special book today about making friends. The story is called Ribbit, by Rodrigo Folgueria. This story is about a group of frogs who go to their pond one morning and find a pig sitting in the middle of it. The pig actually says "ribbit." The frogs do not trust the pig, and as other animals arrive with similar apprehensions about the pig, they decide to go to the Wise Old Beetle for help. Ask me to tell you what happened and how the story ended. We will be revisiting this story several times this week to talk about the characters and key details.
Nobody panic! This is not a new reading program I am trying out. Over the weekend I read an article about how vital executive functioning is to kids' ability to learn. Executive functioning is abilities people have for managing themselves and information. This study concentrated on focus, self-control and working memory. It's important students develop these skills when they are young to have success in school. The school in this study did a lot of balance activities as one part of their emphasis on strengthening students' self-control. We talked about what would be important for them to do to walk with the book on their head. Students came up with slowly walking, holding their head up, feeling the book on their head so they knew when it was slipping, and using hands to balance themselves as if they were on a tightrope. (OK, the last suggestion was mine.) We didn't do this too long because the books falling on the floor was loud! However, it was obvious that with some practice they got better with the task. This could also be done quieter with bean bags. Other activities that help children develop this self-control and focus are things such as ballet, the martial arts and yoga. We will continue to include exercise during our day to develop these abilities further.
Mrs. Kanter came in today to discuss autism with our children. The children with autism are in classrooms in our hallway. She talked with the students about how students with autism learn and process stimulation differently and how their reactions may be different than how we react to our environment. She also talked about how some of the students communicate differently and may not talk as they do. Sometimes we can hear the students if they are having a hard time communicating when something is not right for them. The autism students seem very upset and may run or slam a door, but they have extra teachers who are keeping them safe and helping them. We wanted to talk about our friends in the autism program early in the year so the children have a better understanding of what is happening when they see the students around the building. Your child is bringing home a puzzle piece which they colored with something special about themselves. We talked about how the puzzle piece has become a symbol for autism.
Speaking of symbols, later this week, we will be talking about symbols of the United States, so we will be talking about the Pledge of Allegiance, the flag and the Star Spangled Banner. Of course our instruction is not political, but I did have to just laugh at the timing!
I will be updating our class website hopefully this week. You will find more tabs and information about our curriculum. I will also be opening the homework tab later so you can see a few activities your child may want to do.
Have a nice evening!