SHOW AND TELL
Bring two things you might use in two different kinds of weather.
(Maybe a bathing suit and mittens.)
The what and why of weather
The value is justice, which means fairness and equality. Today all Americans say it is right to have equal opportunity.
For science, we’ll talk about warm air and cold air, tornadoes, and rainbows.
Outside, we’ll play rubber bands and figure 8’s.
The songs we’ll be singing are Frosty the Snowman, You Are My Sunshine, Let’s Go Fly a Kite, Singing in the Rain, We Shall Overcome, and It’s Raining, It’s Pouring.
For creative dramatics we’ll act out different kinds of weather.
Our art activities are rainsticks, bird treats, macaroni snowflakes, frosty shapes, and peace doves.
For motor development, we’ll work on strength with push ups, squats, and leg raises. For motor planning we’ll do cotton ball blow, chimp races, walking blindly, and hip hop.
THE TAKE ON TATTLING
The U.S. Department of Education has a report on how to implement programs to reduce violence in our schools. It’s a good plan, and at the crux of the plan are children, parents, teachers, and administrators all taking personal responsibility to do what they can. For students, a part of that is “telling”.
In our preschool arena, it may be called tattling. As children grow older, they learn all the nuances of when and how to ‘tell’. They learn how to push parents’ buttons with ‘she hit me’ and ‘he took my toy’. Later they learn to say ‘teacher is mean’ or ‘he touched me’, delicately omitting the rest of the story that he had to stay after school because he didn’t complete his assignment, or she was touched by insinuated invitation.
All our lives we struggle with issues of what and when to report. It’s only a matter of different issues with our children. A useful definition is that tattling is telling to get someone in trouble. Reporting is telling when you need help to prevent harm or damage. At the school we find that children frequently will tell to check what your response is. They’ll say ‘Susie is climbing on top of the playhouse’ or ‘Johnny’s taking water to the sandbox’. The unasked question is ‘Can I do it, too?’ As a rule, our reaction will be ‘Why are you telling me?’ or ‘What would you like for me to do about it?’ This lets the child have the benefit of the adult’s perspective without being belittled for ‘tattling’.
Children need to understand that they should report problems. In the middle and high school years, it can help their friends and protect themselves. At the preschool level, they learn to do it in a safe way. When we as adults accept the telling in a non-punitive and unemotional way, our children learn that the adult can be their partner in making judgments or in making things better.
If adults are punitive or threatening, children will retreat, and we get really negative situations. For example, when a child perceives that the parent will attack the ‘wrongdoer’ and reward the tattling child, the child may begin to concoct stories, either total fabrications or leaving out important details. The ‘reward’ can even be extra attention. If an adult is threatening, as in ‘Did you break the bowl?’ the child may become defensive and say whatever she perceives will get her back into good standing. Past punishments for unacceptable behavior can be enough to cause a child to not tell when he should.
Our whole society is developing a ‘blame’ mentality, where everything becomes somebody’s fault. A refreshing aspect of the Department of Education’s action guide is the approach that we can all take an active part in preventing violence – and by extension other social ills. For our little ones, we can begin by being role models who identify problems, set a course of action, and act to make things better.
On the Calendar
Pajama/Teddy Bear Day – On Friday January 13, we are all wearing our pajamas to school and students can bring a special stuffed toy. We’ll still be going outside so shoes and maybe a jacket will be required.
About Justice – Our value for this week is justice. It’s a big concept for our little ones. We’ll talk about how there was a time in our country when not all people were treated fairly and equally. Consider how you want the children in your family to think about this issue.
Martin Luther King Holiday –The school will be closed Monday, Jan. 16, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, who wouldn’t be quiet in the face on injustice. The children will be studying Martin Luther King and his fight for justice for all people this week. Ask to see our curriculum if you would like to reinforce this in your home.
In the toddler class Helene seems to enjoy the spooning work where she transfers acorns from one bowl to another , Helene repeats this work several times before she put it back on the shelf. Jonathan uses some of his class time working with the animal matching work where he matches the adult animal with its corresponding baby. Kevin enjoys the sorting work where he sorts geometric shapes according to their color.