May was such a delight! Green Apple kids of all ages and sizes explored the magic and wonder of fairies. We created art, searched the gardens and grew new friendships along with the flowers. What a wonderful way to start the summer.
Robot voices, robot bodies, and robot building all around! Our Saplings have had deep curiosity about these intriguing machines. What does a robot look like? What kind of words do they say? What functions could they have? What kind of robot would we build? How do robots move?
We have explored these questions deeply this past month and a half, and to our delight, it has vigorously engaged the interests, skills, and passions for our artists, scientists, and independent minds alike! Through delving into a variety of art media such as recycled materials, loose parts, clay, nuts and bolts, and shapes we face all open-ended possibilities, coming to class ready to build!
Our community meetings have implemented language and literacy through learning "Robot" vocabulary, robot songs, and robot movement. Not to mention, our community field trip to the Robot Repair Shop has been quite the adventure!
Our robot unit has been such a success, we had decided to continue our work halfway through April. We couldn't have been more excited for our Hands-On Robot Museum, where we shared our hard work with our families and friends. We extend a heart-felt thank you to our explorers and their families and friends, who came to share this special experience with us.
The weather is warming and the pips are excited to explore outdoors. They’ve been digging in the dirt, helping get raised beds ready, and planting seeds. As the plants begin to grow more, so do the pips. Some of our friends will be growing up to become a sprout at the end of the month. We've enjoyed playing, laughing, creating, and learning from one another. As the month changes there will also be a change of new teachers to help and inspire your young ones. Mary and Christina have enjoyed the time spent with pips and are thankful to the families for all of their support. One of their favorite songs by Raffi says it all….
Thanks a lot, Thanks for Sun in the sky.
Thanks a lot, Thanks for clouds so high.
Thanks a lot, Thanks for whispering wind.
Thanks a lot, Thanks for the birds in the spring.
Thanks a lot, Thanks for the moonlit night.
Thanks a lot, Thanks for the stars so bright.
Thanks a lot, Thanks for the wondering me.
Thanks a lot, Thanks for the way I feel.
Thanks for the animals, Thanks for the land,
Thanks for the people everywhere.
Thanks a lot, Thanks for all I've got. Thanks for all I've got.
There has been a lot of activity happening in our garden these last two weeks! The Sprouts have been spending a lot of time digging in the garden beds, looking for worms, planting seeds and exploring the Earth. We have also been spending time drawing in the garden. In the classroom, we have started growing seedlings under the lights. chives, broccoli, swiss chard, nasturtium and chrysanthemum are just some of the seeds we decided to plant. We are excited to see what our gardens will look like this year!
The warmer weather has definitely been welcome at Green Apple over the last few days! The Sprouts have had a bit of cabin fever and it has been great to be out in the sunshine!
We enjoyed our first snack of the year in the toddler yard! The Sprouts were soo excited to be outside enjoying each others company and enjoying the first signs of spring. We have been bird watching, climbing trees, soaking up the warm sunshine and jumping in puddles!
The Sprouts have also been busy creating art about trees and planning our garden! We really enjoyed looking at the pictures in the seed catalog!
My how the time is flying by! Here at the lower school, the Young Saplings have been enjoying these warmer days outside together, noticing signs of spring such as bird sightings, greener grasses, and all around sunniness that we've been missing during the darker winter. Soon, spring will don its earthy robes and treat us to even more sun (and rain!) and a sense of blooming things. We can't wait to take part by planting and nurturing our own garden again! In the meantime, please stop to "smell the roses" with some photographs capturing moments from our Friendship unit back in February. Stay tuned for a blog post on our work with March's Lions theme later this week...
The meaning of what it means to be a friend has been explored, challenged, and pondered here at the Upper School. The Saplings are beginning to discover that friendship- a special bond between two people, or a group of people built with a foundation of companionship and trust- is more complex than they had imagined.
Many questions have arose in their interactions, invitations, and expressions in their art- How do we show a friend we appreciate them? What happens when one friend gets in a disagreement with another? Are we still friends with each other even if today I want to play with somebody else?
A Sapling approached us one morning, confused and frustrated at the new feelings that she could not give a name to. When we asked her if she wanted to express what was bothering her, she told us "I don't want to be her friend because I want to play with the boys now. And I'm scared that she will be mad." Smiling to myself, I replied, "Friend, if you choose to interact with another Sapling today, do you think that the friendship is over?" The Sapling's nose scrunched. "Well... it's not that I don't want to be her friend never again, I just don't want to be her friend right now."
As new friendships are developed, many new ideas arise and are challenged. Friendship is celebrated in many ways, and sometimes friendship faces hardships. The Saplings are beginning to see that you can be a friend by giving a hug to someone that is not feeling well. That even if you are playing with someone else, your bond is connected with a strong, white string that can never be broken. And even if you get angry with that friend and say something that you don't mean, you can still find a solution to mend the pain and come together again.
"Even when me and my best friend are gone, we are still best buddies. Because we're still friends, in our hearts."
This month we are celebrating friendship. Who are your friends when you are a baby?
Everybody, it seems. That is the best part of being a baby. It is all about love and snuggles. Everything is new and there is so much hope--even on the dreariest days of winter, where you spend most of your time inside with very little light.
Our room feels even cozier this month, as all of our newest and littlest friends start to settle in and spend most of their days going in and out of the eat, sleep, and diaper cycle. The "waddlers" of the room like to check on the tinier ones, popping binkies back into baby's mouths, or handing out books and toys for them to explore.
We've added books on friendship to our library. I really enjoy the series of classical literature redone as children's board books. My favorite is the Huckleberry Finn board book, which is an almost a meditative recapturing of the story, full of pulled quotes about the more mundane parts of a typical day, written so poetically.
We had fun making felt dress up dolls for our classroom, which are meant to be representations of us and the children, as we are all growing to be great friends.
Our ongoing project is our friendship flag, comprised of the children's handprints on paper and fabric, sewn together. Our intention is to one day hang it in their 3-year-old classroom, as a reminder that we are all old friends.
As we transitioned to our new space at the Upper School, we have found endless opportunities to discover and explore. And what an exploration indeed! As we rolled forward with our new start, we found it was most important to get to know each other, get to know ourselves, and get to know how each of us contributes to an important role in the classroom.
In January, we delved deeper into ourselves, exploring the differences between the outside versus the inside (drawing outlines of ourselves before drawing the insides and outsides), the many differences between us, the different emotions we experience, (experimenting with colors of chalk on black paper) and the qualities of ourselves that we value and appreciate the most (creating identity panels with different parts of ourselves).
"My favorite part is my belly, because it can hold ice cream!" -Gabe K.
"My favorite part of me is my whole body. You know why? Because there's lots of parts of me on the inside, and outside. Like the digestive system; everything goes in to go out. And my brain, so I can think, think, think." -Geronimo
"My favorite part of myself is my eyes." -Joseph
"My favorite part is my bones, because I can walk and keep my body together." -Arlo
"Muscles, because without muscles I can't move!" -Emme
We look forward to sharing more of our self discoveries and more about ourselves to the community during our Downtown field trips!
Welcome! Our blog is a collaborative space, curated by the teachers of Green Apple Garden. We hope you enjoy learning more about our philosophy, and the wonderful work we do with the children throughout the year. Looking forward to hearing from you!