Last week was a great week! We had a lot of firsts: our first fire drill, our first assembly in the auditorium, and our first Spirit Day! It was so great to experience all these mini milestones with our Pre-K class. The fire drill was orderly, safe, and easy; the Welcoming Assembly was fun and informative; the Spirit Day was absolutely adorable! Here are some pictures of these “firsts”:
Lining up for our first fire drill!
What’s Happening In Our Class This Week
After having spent a couple weeks inquiring into our relationships at home with our families, we will now look at the relationships we have at school. We have relationships with our classmates or peers, teachers, principals, nannies, nurses, classroom visitors and helpers, and many other members of our school community.
This week we will begin looking at another one of our Unit’s Lines of Inquiry: Building relationships with people around us. Focusing on the Key Concept of Responsibility and the Related Concept of Relationships, we will be asking and answering the question: What is our responsibility when building relationships?
We will be learning about our responsibilities for our relationships. It is our job to take care of our relationships. We need to think about how others feel and act in ways that foster and grow our relationships. We do this by caring and respecting others. At the Pre-K level, this looks like using our manners (saying “Please”; “Thank you”; “Excuse me”.), listening when others are speaking, taking turns and sharing, working together, and generally sharing a sense of community.
Kelso the frog will be introduced to our youngsters at the end of this week in order to help our young learners solve problems that happen when we do not take proper care of our relationships. It is our responsibility to fix/solve problems that happen in our relationships and make them better. We will use Kelso’s Choices to start being problem solvers. This week, we will specifically focus on three of Kelso’s Choices: Tell them to stop, Talk it out, and Apologize. We will not only teach our students to use these tools, but how to use them properly. For example, instead of just telling a classmate to “Stop!” when something is not as we like, we will have students be specific: “Please stop it. I don’t like it when you __________.” These fuller sentences allow students to talk it out and tell each other what they want/need. We also will be emphasizing that saying “Sorry!” needs to be followed by an action to help fix whatever the situation is that instigated the apology. So, for example, if a child knocked a friend down and hurt him/her, instead of saying sorry (which might not really mean much), the child can help his/her friend get up and give a hug to make the other child feel better.
Using Kelso’s Choices and teaching our students to communicate with each other helps to develop their self-management and social skills. Students gain confidence in their ability to develop their relationships and to solve problems, building their self-esteem and pride in their independence. By talking out problems with their peers, students also develop their language skills, expressing their feelings and needs more clearly and effectively.
At Home Connections
You can support the learning that takes place in our classroom by discussing the different types of relationships that exist at your home, outside of the family. Nannies, drivers, cooks, and other staff build relationships with us on a daily basis and we have responsibilities that help maintain those relationships. You can model for your child and encourage the use of manners when interacting with others, emphasizing the importance of treating everyone with respect and as equals, as we are all human beings worthy of the same treatment, no matter what our jobs may be. Saying “Please”, “Thank you”, and “Excuse me” extend far beyond the simplicity of their words. They imply appreciation and gratitude that we should express in all of our relationships in order to care for them.
Furthermore, you can help your child be a problem solver at home. Using the Kelso’s Choices mentioned above, you can assist with any conflicts that come up at home, especially between siblings or even with parents. Helping students practice these self-management and language skills will give them the vocabulary to name their feelings and the conflicts they are having. When children can name their feelings and pinpoint what it is they want, they can better understand them and work through their problems.
**Note: The October Calendar is now posted on the “Calendars” page of our blog**
Thursday, October 27th: Free Dress Day. Children can come in non-uniform clothes that are appropriate for school.
Sunday, October 30th: No School for Students. Staff Professional Development Day.