Late Winter and Early Spring 2021: Getting Ready to Grow!
We've had such fun at CMC welcoming the longer days, warmer weather, and all the new growth coming our way!
We're very happy to share that our entire staff is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19! Over the next six months, we're hopeful we'll be able to carefully relax some of the most cumbersome pandemic precautions we've been taking as the rest the adults in our community become vaccinated and we are able to provide better ventilation in the building.
Our newest team member, Erica, has already spent many hours with us onboarding and observing our program. Here she is enjoying our warmest day yet with TJ on our beautifully flowering playground today:
Please help us in welcoming Erica to full-time work with us on April 12th! Erica will support children from mid-morning through the end of the day. We're also looking forward to Erica contributing her photography skills to our community and especially to these posts!
To get things going this time around, let's start with a roughly chronological exploration of our time outdoors leading up to the picture above. It's been quite a transformative time on many levels.
We've all been busy: welcoming back chalk and bubbles to the playground; taking care of lots of new flowers, helmets, and vehicles; and inventing a variety of nature based activities, including the creation of a 'worm farm'!
Indoors, the children have been busy refueling with plenty of snacks and the occasional special drink:
The group picture above was taken while the children enjoyed another round of fresh-squeezed citrusade in honor of Amara on his last day with us (his family has recently relocated to the east side and we are all wishing him well at his new school there).
During our time working in the classroom, anything requiring the manipulation of liquids - from watercolors to watering wheat grass - has taken on a special cachet:
From the top: Dávid practices squeezing a sponge; a small group lesson on Land and Water Forms; Wally takes Land and Water Forms for a spin by himself; Wally and Dávid water their wheat grass with an eyedropper; Hannah and SJ paint with watercolors; Josiah wipes a table with a damp sponge; Roshan pours water from pitcher to pitcher; Aissatou and Wally use the gluing box; Naana waters plants; Roshan brings in an absolutely huge bouquet of flowers for us all to arrange!
Below: Rita very carefully whips up a bowl of bubbles for our dish washing station (and SJ makes a cameo to fetch some water for our plants).
Our little crew has also taken a special pride in challenging themselves with puzzles of all types, from the top left: sorting Color Tablets; wooden botany puzzles; Cylinder Blocks; straightening our shelves; twisting into new yoga poses; Brown Stairs; Puzzle Maps; and, finally, the Roman Arch.
We've also spent quite a bit of our energy puzzling over big numbers with the help of our math materials and a variety of number guessing games. It all seemed to culminate over two days as SJ took on the monumental task of counting to 1000 (with some considerable support, especially in focusing on the task, from Aissatou)!
The introduction of an old Montessori birthday ritual has also supported burgeoning numeracy in many minds over the last several weeks. (It's not a coincidence SJ had formed and was counting the quantities and numbers from zero to 37 in the video above - 37 is "the number of times the earth has traveled around the sun since the day Taylor was born".) Below, Carsten celebrates turning four and a mat is prepared to celebrate Roshan turning three:
We have also celebrated the change of seasons numerically by both counting down the last days of winter and counting up the number of eggs laid by a Canada goose right near our hallway window!
Although the use of liquids, puzzles, and numbers has captured many of the children's imaginations for much of the last six weeks, we have also found some time to engage verbal and symbolic language building activities!
From top left: Carsten, SJ, and Wally preen over a particularly beautiful rendition of Rainbow Sound Game; TJ and Naana review their work of matching objects to the Sandpaper Letter representing the starting sound of each of the objects' names; TJ reads Josiah a book he's more or less memorized; SJ, Dávid, and Aissatou focus on Metal Inset tracing (designed to prepare the hand to write more fluidly); and, finally, Aissatou tries her hand at our new tracing tray!
Below: Roshan sleeps deeply to the sounds of new nap music compiled and donated by Wally's grandfather, thanks for the calming tunes Bill!