As our Classy Kids children grow and develop, they become increasingly aware of their own social and physical environments. The younger the student, the more insular the world. Whether it’s meeting his or her needs for eating at scheduled, predictable times or having scheduled naps. . . The youngest of our Classy Kids live in very “Me” centric communities. And as they should! But as they grow and become more aware of the world around them, it’s our responsibility to help educate them as to how they can relate to others. We build upon the concept of a family relationship, followed by peer-to-peer relationships, then classroom community relationships, then school communities, and (ultimately) neighborhood communities and beyond!
We place a heavy emphasis on “social” studies. Not the kind from junior high school, of course! Instead, we help children study and make sense of their social surroundings to fully understand their place in the world. In order for children to perform optimally, they must feel safe, secure, and in a predictable environment. By focusing on the social constructs of our classroom communities and communities-at-large, we help our emerging learners understand that they play a very important individual role in every community! To that end, this week our theme was “Me on the Map”, which was quite fitting because our shape was a circle. It always makes our educational hearts happy when we can integrate our themes with other learning components – like a circle (globe, things coming “full circle,” a “circle of friends,” etc.).
This week we engaged in dialogue about being an individual as well as part of a family, a classroom, a school, a community, and the great-big-whole-wide-world. Our students were introduced to living in Greenville, and within the state of South Carolina. We then discussed how our states make up our wonderful country, the United States of America. Want a great activity to take our learning out of the classroom and into the home? Simple map puzzles would be a great way to reinforce that while each piece (state) is different, they all come together to create our country. When you do so, please send us your photos – we’d love to share our learners taking their knowledge home and engaging with their families!
Sensory play is always a key component of learning for our Classy Kids. We engaged them with sensory water beads (circle shaped) and soft pom-poms as we focused on creating circular shapes. And that’s not all. Get ready for a mouth-watering lesson. . . Our favorite activity was “Feed the Cookie Monster” game. Not only did we make paper cookies to feed the Cookie Monster, we then enjoyed cookies and milk to tie the projects in with our delicious (and sweet) theme! But that’s not all. Using food for projects engages children in a way that traditional methods do not. We practiced our fine motor skills, like hand-eye coordination, with Fruit Loops (and more than a few made it into our tummies as opposed to the floor).
But that’s not all. Using food for projects engages children in a way that traditional methods do not. We practiced our fine motor skills, like hand-eye coordination, with Fruit Loops (and more than a few made it into our tummies as opposed to the floor).
Singing songs and writing poetry are extremely important for not only self expression but pre-writing and the development of emerging writers. With a focus on “beat” and “repetition,” we think we might have some musicians on our hands! Our K3 and K4 students, as well as younger preschool classes worked intently on coloring and cutting to continue honing those fine motor skills.
As our children develop, it’s extremely important they learn how to navigate all of these different social systems in our world, and start to understand their place within it. Whether that be on a micro level or a macro level, it’s important that they start to become self-aware and value being a good neighbor and friend.