This Morning’s Work Time was a bit quieter than usual due to the number of children out sick: feel better soon Max, Eitan, and Manu! I observed five boys (Asher, Arcady, Yosef Aryeh, Ben, and Teddy) work together and model (unconsciously) for each other how to complete a challenging puzzle. Not all of the children are at the same skill level, though it can be reached quickly with the peer modeling that was exhibited today. We also used the wooden Shabbat set in the dramatic corner of our classroom. At one point during Work Time, the costumes were put on: a firefighter, police person, white lab coat, and emergency worker. The costumes though are used (due to your children’s imaginations) at times much differently. I have overhead the children say that they are cooks, workers, doctors, construction workers, a train driver, etc. They will carry the metal box we have and “go to work” or “avodah” (thank you Yosef Aryeh for teaching me the Hebrew word for work)!
We have been using the same art materials during Work Time though sometimes in different ways. Today, your children had the opportunity to use child size toothbrushes to paint with. Having our art center where your children can easily reach for the supplies they need, has them in control of their own creativity. Open-ended materials such as paint, crayons, scissors, glue, clay, and assorted paper help support our child centered art activities. Although having too many choices can be overwhelming for young children, making a selection from two or three options at a time is an excellent way for children to practice decision-making. I normally do not change the art materials or introduce new materials into the center too often. Children need time to practice and develop a variety of skills with the materials; and to express their ideas and feelings. This exploration within the art center allows for the creative process to take place (as well as allowing for your children to come back to their work as often as necessary).
At the playground, we had the opportunity again to practice sharing with a brand new vehicle (a Little Tykes Coupe Car). I also observed a variety of imaginative play. For example, pieces of sticks were turned into writing tools as well as our bucket of chalk becoming a bag to carry as well as a shaker. Soccer was played; (first with Merav and Lelo!) then Ben and Teddy independently kicked, passed, and ran the ball back and forth on our playground area. We also played, “London Bridge is Falling Down.” After I held hands with Asher, the children wanted to make their own bridge with a friend. The photo shows Lelo and Asher holding hands to make the bridge, then having the bridge come down to capture Ben and Teddy. The children also found on the playground a plastic shopping cart. We made believe we were shopping for the supplies needed to make latkes (remembering the read aloud "Pancakes, Pancakes" by Eric Carle). Your children “shopped” for flour, eggs, potatoes, onions, milk, salt, and pepper. They “emptied” the cart (after finding another stationary item to be used for the stove) and started cooking. Asher reminded the children that the pan was “hot.”
We had a musical Hanukkah party right before dismissal today! At Morning Meeting, I introduced to your children a variety of musical instruments as well as two non-working guitars (for imaginative play). We had a variety of percussive instruments: a cow bell, triangles, rhythm sticks, castanets, hand bells, cymbals, jingle sticks, a toc toc, a tambourine, shakers, and maracas. We discussed sharing the two guitars. Reminding your children the similar example of sharing the new coupe car at the playground, when asked to hand the guitar to the person next to them, was able to accomplish this without difficulty. Learning and comprehending that we must share in our classroom is something we practice in many different ways (though the ultimate lesson is the same).