It is hard to believe that Christmas vacation has come so quickly. The children were so busy in the class preparing for the festivities leading up to the break.
With the Bag of Hope collections over for 2013, we began dedicating our time to the presents for our parents. We began with adorable clear plastic ornaments. The children chose a colour of paint to roll a marble in and drop into the ball. It was a lot of fun to create lines in the ornaments just from the marble rotating around. The children tried really hard to get the marble out of the small hole but because of centripetal force, no one succeeded. It did however create tons of laughs and comments.
The children also enjoyed using various movements to create several different patterns of paint inside of the ball. This manipulation and strong effort from the wrist and grasp of the ornament is perfect prewriting skills. It is the same motions used to make letters as the children begin changing their boxes into E's and lines into L's and I's.
|Rolling red in the ornament|
Using topology the children chose a second colour of paint to layer in the ornament.
|Blue & Silver|
Lastly we added a third colour to finish our decorations.
|Red, Gold and Green|
The children are very creative and love to be in control of their creative expressions. I offered the children various materials such as stickers, stamps, felts and other class materials to decorate the gift bags. I couldn't stop some of the children from making paper bag puppets, but they were so cute I just gave them a new bag when they were done.
As a part of our program we visit seniors in our neighbourhood at their residence. They host us as a big group in large meeting rooms where we are all welcomed to visit and talk to them. You may remember in October we were lucky to be invited over to recite a pumpkin quote and read our favourite story to them. For the Christmas season they asked us to come visit again. Sadly, the Morning program had to postpone their visit but the Afternoon class went to visit our new friends on December 9th. We sang our Christmas concert songs, and enjoyed juice boxes. Our singing was so good Santa heard us and came to share gifts and ginger bread cookies with us.
Singing in front of strangers sure can be hard. Thankfully in doing so, it prepares us for kindergarten when we are asked to perform in front of our whole school! It also helps us learn to enjoy the art of performing, and become confident in our public speaking skills.
On December 12th, Hardisty invited us to listen to the kindergarten and grade ones Christmas songs for their concert
|It's honestly amazing how well they sat without being asked|
The T/Th class really enjoyed the presentation. It was hard to ask them to leave because they were having so much fun. We saw a sibling, and had a chance to sit with the parents of other children. The big kids must have worked hard to prepare those songs. They set a wonderful example for when it was our turn to do our show.
Sometimes the best activities the children get into are not planned planned by me, but an opportunity of free play, lots of materials on hand and a society that sets examples.
I had left some tissue paper on the table which we were using to wrap the ornaments. The children took a few pieces and began wrapping toys in the classroom. When they ran out of paper, they started using the scarves we have in the play center.
I smiled warmly, as I listened to the children chant "Merry Christmas" as they shared and took turns with the wrapped toys passing them back and forth.
The day before our Christmas concert the children were invited to have a Pajama party.
During class the started with our regular routine of playing, circle and snack, before indulging in popcorn with smarties and watching 'frosty the snowman' in the kindergarten room.
Keeping the class close to our regular routine offers the playschoolers comfort and predictability. Although it is healthy to shake things up on occasion, it is also important to try and keep most days as close to routine as possible. Keeping the routine constant offers comfort and trust, while switching routines is exciting and new! Switching routines occasionally also give the children a little bit of stress. By controlling children's exposure to stress when they are young, it helps them learn how to adjust and accept the things they have no control over. It teaches them in a safe environment how to adjust to the unpredictable so when they grow up and it is no longer offered in a controlled environment with a caregiver they trust, they are ready and able to cope.
Our Christmas party was on Wednesday, and it was a WONDERFUL time!
I love how our school brings together all of the families for Christmas. We are all in such a large community (Fulton, Capilano, Hollyrood, Gold Bar, Ottwell and more!), and we can not always have a chance to be together in the class. We do however run into one another in the mall, at events, at the park and in community programs such as soccer. As the children grow up, they will see their peers again in jr high or highschool, and the small friendship connection was seeded when they were only 3 or 4.
The children did a fantastic job singing a concert for the families, as we welcomed everyone to the hall . It's so adorable watching young children perform because they are all getting what they need, and doing the best they can. Some are ready to recite the songs and actions back as if they were at McGonigle Hall, while others are using the opportunity to show off their dance moves or strong (Screaming) singing voices. Others sing nothing, and do nothing. Other children sang from the laps of their families, praising the others for their confidence. No child did wrong, no child was bad. They did the best that they could with their first exposure to a group concert. Next year, whether it is at the playschool again, or in kindergarten, they will do the best they can, with the information they received this year to do it again. Maybe they'll sing loud and proud, or they will dance a storm, but they will continue to learn and grow.
This year while watching the kindergartners sing with the T/Th class, I saw a child who last year wasn't very comfortable with singing in front of everyone at the playschool performances. This child did the actions and sang the song, and I was SO excited for the child! It's amazing to see them grow, and how far they have gone in 365 days.
After our concert Santa came to visit us! It must have been our amazing singing voices again.
Christmas is a very important time of the year for us in the classroom for the Christian program. We get to celebrate Jesus birthday with our friends and families. In the class we had both a felt board nativity set and a beautiful little people nativity set and advent candles. We read our favourite books like the story of Jesus birth, and the friendly beast, and sang wonderful songs such as Joy to the world.
One of the crafts we made was a nativity set with Popsicle sticks.
May your Christmas be blessed with friends and family full of joy and love.