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Random Acts of Kindness and Friendship Words February 10, 2017

These photos show our jar that we are filling with notes about our random acts of kindness, and our Friendship display. By the end of the month, we hope the jar is overflowing and we have put all of our ideas about friendship into practice!
The Maple Room kids can teach us a lot about friendship! Here are some of their answers to the question, “What is friendship?”
Playing with all
Helping
Giving hugs
Looking at your friend’s eyes when talking
Loving
Giving
Using words, not hands
Gentle touches
Inviting all
Talking nicely
Being polite
Please
Thank you
Saying sorry
Forgiving
Caring for all.
Emotions of friendship included joy and happiness.
One way to increase friendship in your classroom and home is to do good deeds and random acts of kindness.

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Friendship Tea February 7, 2017

February at our school is all about the heart!  We are celebrating love and friendship.  Friendship Tea is one of our favorite activities in the preschool.  One child initiates the activity, setting up the beautiful table with everything neccessary for sharing a pot of chamomile tea with a friend ~ cups, teapot, teabags, hot water, tongs for transferring a teabag to the pot, and a timer to time the steeping of the tea.  The host then invites another child from the class to share a pot of friendship tea.  The idea is to invite someone whom you do not know very well, in order to share conversation and get to know each other better.  During a group presentation, the teachers model conversation starters that the children can use while the tea is steeping.

“Do you have a brother or sister?”

“What are your favorite games?”

“What do you like to do at school?”

“Do you have a pet?”

After tea and conversation, the host is responsible for cleaning up, and the guest for thanking the host for the invitation.

This is such an amazing activity in so many ways ~ practicing grace and courtesy, social skills, language skills, and practical life skills.

During this month, I will be writing about other prosocial ideas.

 

 

What Moms Can Do ~ 2016 poems May 9, 2016

Putting together community poems is one of my favorite activities of all.  All you need to do is give the children a good prompt and a moment or two to think. You can remind the children to use flexible thinking.  “If someone says just what you were going to say, you can think of something else to add to the poem.  Moms can do more than one thing.”

Older children could be given each of the different contributions on notecards, and they could play around with the order of the lines, maybe focusing on rhythm and flow, or contrast or what sounds good to their ear.  It would be interesting to hear the different versions the children put together.  Another tip is to suggest that the children try to be as specific and concrete as possible, and you can give a prompt.  If the child says that Mom is a good cook, you might ask, “What does she cook best?”

Here are this year’s poems from three of our classrooms.  I love how similar yet different they are.  I’ve combined these with some special photos of the very early moments of some of our teachers as Moms.  Just look at the love!  There is also a photo of one of our teachers with her daughter from a previous Moms’ Day tea.  Taking photos, like writing poems, is part of our tradition and celebration.  Enjoy!

What Moms can do . . . by Willow class

Put on their shoes without any help

Put on their ear-rings all by themselves

Marry

Ride a lawnmower

Ride a mountain-bike

Help me learn to ride my bike

Help me wash my bike and our car

Fill up cars and change the oil

Drive

Drive me to school

Take me horse-riding

to Disneyland

to Alaska

to Hawaii

Drive me to the Space Needle in Seattle

Work at home

Work in lunchbunch

Go to work

Work hard

Give me a haircut

Play toys with me

Paint monsters

Get me in and out of trouble

Take care of me

Love me with all her heart!

 

What Moms Can do . . . By Aspen Room

Cook dinner

Bake chicken

Make lunch

Get pizza for her kids

Moms are good at cooking food

 

Work and do jobs

Sew things back together

Take care of me

Take care of me when I am sick

Pick me up and hug me when I am cold

Help me go to bed and fall asleep

Moms are there when you need them

Moms give us strength and love

Moms are good at taking care of kids

 

Moms can play

Read a story

Help me paint a picture

Take me on a walk

Tie shoes

Mountain bike

Help me learn

Moms are good at teaching kids

 

What Moms can do . . . by Maple Room kids

cook breakfast

make lunch for me

cook dinner

make the best soup ever

play with me

snuggle me

sleep with me

give me a big warm hug

watch me play my violin

play duets with me on the piano

sing with me

take me to Art class

grow a garden

read a book

read Harry Potter aloud to us

help me do my school work

Mom can be a teacher

Mom can love me

And protect me

Moms are awesome!

 

Mom’s Day, 2016 ~ An invitation to work May 6, 2016

Oh my goodness, today was a busy day at school, with our school  hosting three Moms’ Day teas!  I wear a fitbit, and today I tracked 19000 steps, almost eight miles and thirty flights of stairs! I took an hour nap when I got home today.  I know that I wasn’t the only one who was this busy.  Thanks, teachers.

The children were also very busy.  An event like this is an invitation to work ~ invitations and name cards to write, decorations to make, gifts to make and wrap, songs to learn, poems to write, flowers to arrange, furniture to move and rearrange, muffins to bake, strawberries to slice, tables to set, tea to pour and then a lot of clean up chores and dishes to wash.  I think of special events like our Moms’ Day teas as invitations to work ~ a joy filled opportunity to work hard for a specific purpose.

So far, it has all been very worthwhile ~ 100% turnout by Moms, lots of hugs, laughter, joy, love, excitement and special memories and traditions being made.

This is also building our school’s sense of community and traditions.

 

What Moms Can Do May 8, 2015

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We recently celebrated Mom’s Day at school, and what an invitation to work this was for the children! Gifts to make and wrap, cards to draw and color, name tags to write, songs to learn, decorations to make for the windows and walls of the room, centerpieces of flowers to arrange, shortbread to bake, cream to whip and strawberries to slice, tables and chairs to carry and move, tables to set, and finally, lots of clean up. Our elementary aged students provided a lot of community service to the school by working as servers at the teas for the younger students and their Moms.

Was it worth it? Absolutely! One Mom told me that her child counted down the days until the tea. “Mom, only two days to go.” “Mom, only one more day!” He told his Mom that he wanted to dress up, including wearing his church shoes and tie, and asked Mom to dress up, too.  The children were all buzzing with excitement – and the Moms were, too!

The children were provided an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their grace and courtesy – remembering to say please and thank you, to pass the small bowls and plates of cookies, whipped cream and strawberries around the table, to use the tongs and small spoons for serving, to drink from china or glass tea cups. to take turns conversing . . .

One of our school’s values is ‘community.’ This was a true community effort, with all of the children, teachers and classes pitching in to help. And when I saw Moms and children lingering in the afternoon sun, sitting on benches outside of the school and conversing, I realized that the tea helps build community by providing parents an opportunity to meet and converse. The tea also builds our communal memory of shared events.

The children in the classes for 3 – 6 year olds even wrote two community poems. Each child contributed a line to the poem, based on ‘What Moms can do.” I love the way the children have captured the very essence of what it means to be a Mom ~ all of the love, caring, fun, learning, strength, responsibility, and yes, even vulnerability. For sure the poems show that the children are watching and appreciating what we do!

Enjoy!

What Moms can do

By Aspen Class – spring 2015

Grocery shop

Feed me

Give me food

Pack lunches

Bake fish

Cook us breakfast

Make me pancakes

Bake yummy stuff

Clean the dishes

Take me to school

Take me to the park

The pirate park

The playground

Take me bowling with my family

Take me to Zeppoz for the very first time

Color with me

Write

Tape my pictures up on the wall

Buy me new toys

Play with me

Build an igloo

Plant flowers

Snuggle me up in my bed

Snuggle with me

Snuggle

Tuck me in

Give me goodnight kisses

Take care of me when I am sick

Wake me up

Give me hugs

We thank you for all of the wonderful things you do!

Mom, I love you!

“What Moms Can Do”

Willow Classroom

Spring 2015

Sew and needle.

Knit me a scarf

Wash dishes

Clean the walls

Cook dinner

Make something that I want

Teach me how to write

Write things for me

Help me do arts and crafts

Play piano with me

Put on a show and put on music

Turn on “Rooftops step in time”

Play a game with me

Let me play with my toys

Wash the car on hot days

Pick up a couch with my dad

Ride her bike with a helmet

Put the recycling out

Use a pitchfork

Juggle anything

Some things are too heavy for her

My mom can get sick

My mom can come back to me

and she can kiss me

My mom can

My mom loves me

And I love my Mom!