Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Staying on our (my) feet...

...otherwise I could get "knocked down!"  While we have been busy with our regular lessons and activities since our return from the winter vacation earlier this month, I have noticed somewhat of a change in our classroom.  Speaking in general terms, because not all students are affected, but it just seems as if some of my kids are forgetting things - big things like how to speak to each other with kindness, how to be patient, how to show that we care about the people and things around us...  I am so thankful that we have implemented the Kindness Wreath as it has turned out to be a very meaningful point of interest and remembrance for the children.  But oh my goodness!  These are the things that really weigh on me because first and foremost, my wish is for our classroom to be filled with a caring harmony and sense of peace!!!   There is a part of me that knows it is not really as bad as I think it is - it's simply that I have very high expectations and when something does not go according to plan, I tend to over-analyze and blame myself...  "It must be something that I am doing wrong..."    Needless to say, I have found myself  analyzing many aspects of the classroom (as any teacher does at given given point in time....).  I have concluded it is more important for me at this time to be spending more time developing our classroom culture of understanding, kindness, and compassion rather than diving into new individual lessons.  Interestingly, I found myself with far fewer pictures from each day's activities as we are spending more time cultivating a more harmonious culture in the classroom - something that does not happen in a matter of days or weeks.  Nevertheless, here are some pictures that I was able to take throughout the week depicting snippets of activity throughout the learning environment.

The bells - listening.

Color Mixing.

Exploring primary and secondary colors with the Second Color Tablet Box.

Tape resist snowflake painting.

Counting, cardinality, odd, and even numbers with the Cards and Counters.

A fun lesson following and stamping the letter 'p' - the baby polar bear finds its mother at the end...

An extension with the Solid Cylinders - two at a time.

Parts of the Leaf botany puzzle with control mat.

Constructive Triangles - Second Box.

'Peace' cards - the word 'peace' in different languages.

Exploring length with the Red Rods.

Pink Tower/Brown Stair work.

Opening and Closing Boxes

Writing practice:  'Wet, dry, try.'

Decimal System Cards - "Can you show me six thousand?"

Matching the Geometric Solids to their cards.

Three-Part Cards: Continents

Extension work with the Knobless Cylinders.

Binomial Cube
Smelling Bottles

Numbers 1-100 with the Hundred Board.

Continent Cards - Europe.

Refinement of the baric sense (weight) - feeling 'heavy' and 'light.'

Caring for plants with the plant washing tray.

More writing practice with the "Wet, Dry, Try" method.

Snowflake tracing - prewriting practice.

Many children are still enjoying this rock painting activity.

"Snow" poetry reading with manipulatives.

January calendar work.

Counting, cardinality, odd/even numbers with the Cards and Counters.


  1. It is a relief to know my classroom is not the only community going through a difficult time remembering how to speak with kindness and treat each other with patience and kindness. We have implemented your kindness wreath as well as a lesson about put ups and put downs. It is true that most of my time and energy right now is spent on noticing and assisting the children with their kind words and actions. It will get better! Thank you for your blog it is always a source of support and inspiration for me.

  2. It is a relief for me as well knowing that our class is also not alone...! Thanks so much for your kind words - it gives me much comfort knowing that in some small way I can help others. :)

  3. Same here! We have also been struggling the last couple weeks with kindness and thoughtfulness towards each other (especially my 4 year old boy "crew") I have gone over every excuse; sickness, holidays, etc...but, as my mother always said, "There are no excuses" So back to basics for us! Thanks as always for your wonderul blog! It is my daily inspiration

    1. So true! And going back to the basics is always a good idea! :) Thank you for sharing and for your kind words. They sure to help keep me going! :)