Giving and Receiving
It has been such a joyous week at Tamworth Village Homeschool. This past week, our class books, discussions and experiences have revolved around the joys of giving and receiving. At the beginning of the week, we hung a small stocking over each child's cubby and invited the children to practice making small gifts for one another. It was so wonderful to see the delight that they each took in creating small treasures for their friends and tucking them into their stockings. We also read stories that inspired discussions about other ways we can bring joy to others, besides giving gifts. The children were full of ideas, from giving someone a smile or hug, saying something kind, inviting someone to play, or visiting someone who might be lonely. Later that day, the class had fun thinking of kind words they can say to their friends. Teachers supported in writing these down on small heart- shaped notes for them to place in their classmates' stockings.
After focusing on the art of giving on Monday and Tuesday, we unexpectedly had an opportunity to enjoy the act of receiving on Wednesday! A parent who works at the local bakery surprised us with beautiful bundt cakes to share with the class at snack time. The class was so excited, and they suggested that we have a "fancy snack" by dimming the lights, making some more berry tea, and telling stories while we all enjoyed a small sliver of the cake. We had a wonderfully fancy snack time, (and the class didn't forget to enjoy their fresh veggies alongside our special treat)! Afterwards, we took the opportunity to reflect on how we can respond when we've been given a gift. The class was enthusiastic about making a big sparkly Thank You card, which they each added to and signed their names on before heading out (through a bit of rain) to deliver it.
We are so proud of our students for their zeal for giving generously and receiving graciously this week. In the coming weeks, we will be continuing to look for ways to cultivate the spirit of generosity and kindness that is already so very much alive in our students!
This week was also special because we added something new to our daily routine. We will now be practicing a rotation of "small group time" each day after outdoor play. This week, we've found this to be such a useful tool for doing some more focused projects with our classmates. The children seemed to love this opportunity to enjoy some quieter time with a teacher after their active play outdoors. Some of the projects that we worked on during small group time this week were:
* drawing self portraits in their portfolios and practicing writing their names
* creating small crafts to give as gifts to their friends
* playing math games such as "How Many Bears are Hiding in the Den?" This is such a great math game that can be used with almost anything you have on hand (e.g. how many pennies are hiding under the cup)? You start with a number of bears or other objects (I recommend starting with 5 and working your way up to 10), have the child close their eyes and hide some of the set. Have them open their eyes and figure out how many are hiding using mental math. It is amazing how quickly they pick up on the concept of subtraction, and of different ways of composing numbers through this activity.
* Practicing counting with one- to- one correspondence by making snowflake number posters
* Some children also worked on coloring in winter themed mini- books that the teachers assembled. Due to the simple and repetitive language, these are perfect beginning readers that can be brought home and read to family members even if they can't decode the words phonetically yet!
This has been such a joyful and fulfilling week with our preschoolers, and we are looking forward to another wonderful week ahead! Have a great weekend, everyone! :)