Another exciting week at the lab school is behind us! As our time as student teachers is winding down, it is consistently a pleasure to come to school and witness the joy and curiosity in each of your children. They have each shown growth over the past several weeks, and I have a great sense of pride to have been a part of this important time in their lives.
I enjoyed my week as lead teacher, and it was wonderful to see all of my curricular ideas come to life in the classroom. The body awareness aspect of my curriculum took off with great gusto! The different sized paper cut outs of hands and feet sparked a lot of interest in size. Many of the children placed their hands over the cut outs to find "their" size. One of the children in Frances' class demonstrated his developing understanding of size by saying, "here's the baby feet, and here's the daddy feet." The mirrors in the classroom were a fun spot for children to examine their facial features and compare them with other children's features. Many funny faces were enjoyed as well.
Our large groups for the week were also focused on body awareness. The children enjoyed a new rendition of "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes." In Ayuko's class, we added a verse to one of our classroom favorites, "Open, Shut Them," which involved blinking and winking! Children in both classes had fun dancing to "The Freeze Song" in the gym, and they did a great job listening for the musical changes that indicated freezing and dancing.
Painting in the classroom took on a new life this week as the children explored painting on pieces of standing plexiglass. Many of the children in the classroom are regulars at the easel and art table, but this plexiglass set-up seemed to invite some new children into the realm of art. Children enjoyed looking through the plexiglass to see one another. One child in Ayuko's class was thrilled to learn that he could paint over and cover up a teacher's hand that was behind the plexiglass. The game interested two other children who came over to join in the activity.
The music and dancing center have also been a highly-frequented area in the classroom. The children are becoming more familiar with manipulating the mouse on the computer to select one of five song buttons It is such a joy to watch the children as they experiment with the cause and effect of clicking and hearing music! Children in both classes have enjoyed listening to the different genres of music and dancing accordingly. We have seen a great deal of marching to The Imperial March from "Stars Wars" and lots of movement with flowing scarves to a classical piece by Johann Strauss. I was surprised to see how many of the children have shown preferences for certain types of music and musical instruments. Overall, this area has been a great creative outlet for many children, and teachers (just ask to see Teacher Bob's jig).
The dramatic play areas are an ever-popular place. We have been reveling in the amount of group play that has been happening in both classes. Many of the children in Frances' class took a trip on a train made of cardboard boxes. One child even declared, "We need tickets!" We have been seeing whole litters of kitty cats in Ayuko's class, complete with human caregivers and delicious cat food! These group play experiences are truly creating a sense of community between the children. I have enjoyed watching the blossoming relationships and emerging social skills as the children learn to share materials and negotiate play themes.
After a long and successful run, our grocery store recently came to a close. We send thanks to all of you who sent in your food containers, and to those of you who were able to clue us in as to what types of foods your child likes to eat and cook. This information was so helpful as we supported play from the grocery store into the play kitchen. The children were tickled when we offered just the right spice for their mac and cheese or knew that they liked soy nut butter on their toast. This home-school connection makes our classroom community lively and meaningful.
I have enjoyed my time as lead teacher. The children teach me so much each day; their curiosity and excitement is a reminder of the kind of attitude I hope to bring with me to class. So, it is with that curiosity and excitement that I look forward to lead teaching again next week!