SHOW AND TELL

Bring a picture of a forest or wetland to go in our biome mural.

Topic: Oceans Biome

Understand oceans as powerful forces

The value is peace. We’ll talk about “calm”, “serene”, and “tranquil”.

For ecology we’ll learn about wind and wave power.

Outside we’ll experiment with siphoning and learn how to hula.

The songs we’ll be singing are Three Little Fishes, Down by the Bay, Five Little Speckled Frogs, Puff the Magic Dragon, and Row, Row, Row Your Boat.

For creative dramatics we’ll move like the sea creature we practiced at home.

Our art activities are dolphin picture, paper plate crab, octopus, tapa cloth, and tissue paper leis.

For motor development, we’ll work on flexibility by learning how to play tinkling. We’ll also do crab walks. For vestibular function we’ll play leap frog, do forward rolls, and pretend to be on a pogo stick.

SLOW DOWN AND BE RICH

These days our children are experiencing nature through the Disney channel. We are raising a generation of kids who are knowledgeable about endangered species and collapsing ecosystems, but who spend their time indoors. They can’t tell you about the bugs in their backyards or the cardinal that lives in the tree. They haven’t experienced the eeriness of having an owl swoosh through the night on noiseless wings. The knowledge sponges that are our children are not experiencing at a gut level what it means to stand on a cliff or to cross a stream on slippery rocks. They don’t learn the excitement of striving, sometimes failing, finding that’s not the end of things, and then the thrill of achieving on their own.

It’s a different level of understanding, one that grows authentic people. We have such an incredible flow of information these days that we’re accepting more is better. The more/more/more attitude fuels a materialistic consumer society, and it starves our souls. The little child who dawdles as you come up the sidewalk feels the sun on her back, listens to the spring birds singing, and finds a worm wriggling in the damp underbrush. And she becomes more human. One of our teachers shows the children how to look at the different colors of skin on a person, how the fingernails are a different color, how cheeks are a little pink, and where a tan line starts. Then the child picks up a different crayon to color the nuances into his picture. Dr. Montessori taught us that natural materials and pictures of real things were so much richer than a plastic tray or a cartoon picture.

When you’re with your child, learn to enjoy the breeze, how much fun it is to walk along a curb, and notice how the squirrels are eating the last of the acorns for breakfast. When you look at a beautiful painting, help your child really see it by asking:

  • Is there a color that stands out most?

ª What colors are used most often? Where are they used?

ª Look at the lines in the painting. What are the shapes? Are the lines straight or curvy? Are they thick or thin, clear or blurry?

  • What are the people doing? What can you tell about them? What might they be saying?
  • Can you imagine a story about this painting?

Noticing the world around us connects us to that world and to the people in it. Understanding at a deeper, richer level fuels intelligence, sparks curiosity, and feeds our souls. We become human. And you’ll never hear your child whine “Is that all there is?”

Coming Up

Luau – On August 14, we will have our luau from 6:30 – 8:30 pm please mark your calendar and let us know you will be attending.

Lunch – On Friday August 4, Ella and Emma would like to have cheese pizza for all the students in the primary class, consider on not sending a full lunch box that day.

Teaching Values – Our enrichment curriculum uses twelve values that are emphasized approximately four times each year so our children can articulate what is expected of them. The value in our Oceans Biome is peace. We’ll be talking about “calm”, “serene”, and “tranquil”. You might think about incorporating these words into your life at home.

Working With Dolls – Dolls are an open-ended learning material; they can be played with again and again in many different ways. Teachers stay out of pretend play and only engage when invited being careful not be become the center of attention. Observation of doll play can provide insight into what the child is thinking and feeling. Working with dolls also helps with building social skills, learning responsibility, empathy & compassion, imagination and language.

Splash Day – Friday August 4, will be the last day for splash day this year.