One of the fun ideas that has emerged from kindergartens across the country in recent years is the 26 day "Alphabet Challenge!" The concept arises from the idea that many children come to school with some awareness of the alphabet, but some children arrive to kindergarten with no exposure to letters and their sounds. This is absolutely one-hundred percent okay! No one should feel the need to come to kindergarten knowing letters! That said, we want to create excitement and a shared knowledge of the letters at the start of the year. This creates community, it gets kids excited, and letters become our shared language. We learn together and we have fun building our shared knowledge of our alphabet. Here are some of our silly hat photos from our recently completed "Alphabet Challenge!"
Learning in our Outdoor Classroom is magical, but it's most magical at the start of the year. Watching this community of children come together as a group is most powerful when we are collaborating in the woods. Whether children are helping one another climb the tree, slide down the "mud hill" or build the bridge across our creek, we can literally see their relationships strengthen through these activities. Risk-taking, problem-solving, student-led learning...it all happens when we step outdoors and enter into that special place that seems to be built just for us. When the temperature cools enough, we can't wait to try our new rainwear that was donated by so many supporters, friends, and educators through Donor's Choose this summer! Go outside and play!
September is somehow come and gone! Twenty new little learners are taking their seats...quite literally taking their "flexible seating" seats in Room 110. This year, having pondered our shared classroom space and wondering how to open it up more for twenty little people, I decided to try "flexible seating." This means we take turns through the week in choosing seating that "works for us" as individuals. We can lie down on a rug rectangle using a clipboard, kneel on a large cushion over a small side table, sit on a bench, sit on a chair, or on different types of cushiony seats. I will be honest, I went into this new system with some apprehensions...but I am (as usual) so impressed with the way our new students have used this system of choice. They are beginning to find out how their bodies like to sit, stand, lie...and where in the room they can focus to do their personal best. Super awesome outcome and I'm just so happy we gave it a go. Go newbies, go! Thanks to the big kiddos below who "posed" for these pictures! We used these pictures to create our "flexible seating chart" where we can choose our spot for our independent work!