SHOW AND TELL
Bring a thing that goes into building a house
(insulation, brick, faucet, wire, etc.)
Rocks and minerals are everywhere.
The value is self-reliance, which is confidence in one’s own judgment and abilities. This means that we must make our own decisions about what we think and about what we do.
For science, we’ll learn about evaporation and how volcanoes explode.
Outside we’ll do a water brigade and learn how water flows over the land.
The songs we’ll be singing are This Land is Your Land, Catch a Falling Star, Today, Down by the Bay, and Do Your Ears Hang Low? We’ll also practice patterned breathing.
Our art activities are rock candy crystals, sponge gardens, volcanoes, pet rocks, and food color migration.
Creative dramatics will be to act like a volcano or like a river.
For body development, we’ll work on flexibility with yoga poses. For motor development we’ll do vestibular function exercises with beanbag toss, wind-up tops, keep the ball up, and twist and shout.
LEARNING FROM SHAMU
SeaWorld never fails to amaze us with their ability to train killer whales, dolphins, and seals to jump through hoops, ring a bell, or jump four at one time. We have trouble getting our kids to put on their coats. How does SeaWorld do that? They have an entire website www.seaworld.com dedicated to sharing their animal training talent with us. There’s also a marvelous book Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor along the same lines. SeaWorld calls their technique “the ABCs of positive behavior”, and their website includes videos. Here’s a summary:
Activator – This is where you let your child know what you expect. It has to be specific, as in “Put on your clean clothes before you come for breakfast.”
Behavior – Whether your child performs the request or not, you have to remain totally positive by reacting with consequences that keep the situation positive and reinforce the original request.
Consequences – When your child complies with your request, it must be reinforced with a hug, a comment of appreciation, or some other varied reward. If your child did not comply, stay positive and break the request down farther into something that can be done. If the request was to get dressed, help him get his socks on. You can also model the behavior, as in dressing together before coming for breakfast, or maybe making a game to see who can get dressed faster.
The SeaWorld website (seaworld.com) includes specific tasks like how to get your child to clean up. Shamu cleans up too. The most basic thing is to stay positive. Killer whales do not react well to yelling. Neither do kids. If the cleanup task is not progressing the way you want it to, try redirecting. At first, start small. Shamu starts with one toy. You can demonstrate how the job is to be done. When that goal is achieved, the behavior has to be reinforced, maybe with an “atta boy” or a high-five. Your task is to make positive associations with the desired behavior. The rewards have to be varied, even including special time doing a fun thing together. Let your child feel your pride.
If you’re having trouble getting your child to share, the same principles apply. We don’t force sharing at the school, but there is a lot of equipment so that every child has something to choose. You can role model sharing by sharing a cookie, a book, or not taking too long before you give up your turn with the TV. Trying new foods and potty training are other topics the SeaWorld website addresses. The biggest challenge for most of us is the staying positive. Parenting makes us all grow up.
For Your Information
Value for Geology Theme – The self-reliance value puts a lot of focus on responsibility. We’ll be talking a lot about how every person has control over how he thinks, how he feels, and how he acts. This means that we must make our own decisions about what we think and about what we do.
Classroom Observation –When the teacher is singing a song or reading a story, most of the students are attentive, some of them will be distracted and need to be reminded to focus, yet there are those that will choose to play rather than focus on what the teacher is doing. This time during story time we used an animated story from YouTube instead of a book, we were amazed at how focused all the students were and for much longer periods of time. After watching the story questions to the students are asked and retention seems to be much greater then when reading the story. So with this observation we will continue to use sites like YouTube and we’ll continue to read books, when students are just beginning to read seeing teachers reading out loud inspires them. If your child is watching a video on the computer or TV you should be watching with your child, for very shorts periods of time (5 – 15min), ask age appropriate questions, and avoid commercial interruptions.
During afternoon circle time, the students in the primary class watched two story time videos via YouTube; How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin, and There’s an alligator under my bed, we also sang the songs listed on the curriculum page but it was Pop Goes the Weasel that made Evan ask “can I stand up?” after receiving a yes Evan stood up and began to dance and within seconds the other classmates joined in. Jonathan had a song request, “can we sing the Owl Song? With just a quick search we found the song Jonathan was familiar with and now his classmates know about the educational song, we all thanked Jonathan for sharing.