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SHOW AND TELL

Bring a drum, maybe one that you made.

Topic: Africa

Let’s explore the African continent.

The value is wisdom, which is the ability to judge rightly and decide what is best for the common good.

For cooking we’ll make elephant ears and elephant heads. We’ll also peel peanuts in a shell.

Outside we’ll practice talking with our drums, and we’ll play the African ring game.   

The songs we’ll be singing are Circle of Life, Kumbaya, Green Grass Grows All Around, Zippity-do-dah, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, and It’s a Small World.

Our art activities are Egyptian fruit bat, make beads, learn about a tarboosh, make a scroll, and African masks.

Creative dramatics will be to hear the legend of How Spider Got His Thin Middle.

For motor development we’ll build stamina with running. For body development, we’ll work on postural response with balloons in lots of ways.

 

SENSORY INTEGRATION 

What a big word for a very simple childhood concept. Children have always played and eaten and rested when they need to. Maria Montessori told us to “follow the child” because it is inherent in the child to do what she needs to do when she needs to do it. Then we adults meddle and fix and label. Simple childhood play has had analysis and labeling to the point that we can hardly allow the child any freedom to be at all.

The fact is that everything the child learns comes through the senses. That input is processed by the brain until gradually neurons and dendrites and synaptic connections are made and the child begins to make sense of his world. What our new world does that has not been present in the past is limit the child. We put our children in sterile environments with man-made, non-complex materials and make our children “be good”. Historically, children were in natural environments running, playing, observing adults in their work, and basically interacting with lots of people and animals. Today, children are severely restricted, and the sensory integration necessary for developing intelligence is incredibly limited.

So what? So, it’s best for all of us to move, especially our children who are developing the vast majority of their intelligence before the age of six. At the school, our children spend a lot of time on the playground, moving, running, yelling, interacting with people, observing weather, and not being passive. They develop games, move equipment, climb up, slide down, and get upside down. They’re encouraged to solve their own problems in their own, very creative ways. What can you do at home?

  • Seek a playground that has suspended equipment like a swing or bridge. Merry-go-rounds are a treasure of vestibular stimulation as the child sits up, lies down, goes backwards, is in the middle, or out on the edge.
  • Hiking anywhere is an adventure. It not only enhances fitness and motor planning, but it provides an endless array of sensory experiences from things to see, to touch, to smell.
  • Roller skating and bike or tricycle riding are excellent ways to develop motor planning and bilateral coordination.
  • Swimming is an excellent opportunity to enhance motor planning, bilateral coordination, and sense of “body in space”.

All these experiences develop children who are willing to try, to experience, and to accomplish. What a joy!

On the Calendar

First Day of Kindergarten – This is a momentous event when our oldest children (those that are 5 on September 5) take on the additional responsibility of leadership. We’ll talk in the class about how they are now role models for all the children, including each other. Our day is September 3. You might want to add something special to your family’s routine on that evening in recognition of this new maturity.

What is postural response? – The sensory integration exercise we’ll be working on for the Africa theme is postural response. It brings together all the other aspects of sensory integration that we do, enabling the other systems to work together efficiently. We’ll work on maintaining upright posture, building good trunk muscles and good balance between muscle groups in the trunk. Ask to see our curriculum to get some ideas for home. They’re really kind of fun.

Director – Mr. Warren will be departing from our school, his last day will be August 30. We wish him well.

  classroom news

     Locks and latches is one of the materials Aaron selected during the work cycle his attention span is improving as we noticed that he stays engaged for a longer period of time. Because of the colorful straws the straw insert work is a favorite; Trinay repeats this work many times before he moves on to something different. Edie’s fine motor skills are improving as she works with the various animal puzzles she twist and the turns the shapes until they fit the mold.

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