Management Musings: A Sit Spot with the Frogs

Last week I did a “sit spot,” which is a Core Routine from our Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature model. As I was sitting and watching/waiting for nature, a few boys came and asked me what I was looking for…

G: I’m looking at nature.
Frog 1: Well, I want to look.
Frog 2: What are we looking at?
G: Let’s wait and see.
Frog 3: I see vultures.
G: I see them too. What are they doing?
Frog 1: I see a stick. Can I have it?
Frog 2: I want the stick.
Frog 3: Get the stick, Ms. Gail! Please!!!!!

(Desperation sets in for the stick wink emoticon )

G: Is this what you all see?
Frogs: YES!!!

(I go and get the stick and bring it back to the group)

Frog 1: It looks like a knife.
Frog 2: It looks like a shovel.
G: What else can it be?
Frog 3: I think it’s a walkie-talkie.

G: If I give it to you (Frog 3), what will you do?
Frog 3: I will call other Frogs and we will talk and then play and form a plan.

G: (Gives stick to Frog 3) Sounds great, Frogs! Thanks for enjoying a sit spot with me.

~~
I observed the play for another 15 minutes to see the value and effectiveness of the sit spot…

Each boy took turns with the walkie-talkie and began noticing the vultures that were present in the trees toward the Tadpole Yard. They began speculating on why some vultures were in one tree and others were starting to fly. Two other children joined the conversation and discussed vulture food, how they hunt, and why they need nests.

~~
This all began because we sat and waited… and because there was no agenda on “how” or “what” the sit spot represented. It was also adjusted to be a bit more age-appropriate than what a sit spot could be for an older child or of course, for an adult. (Silence wasn’t a primary goal wink emoticon )

One single sit spot resulted in a total of 20 minutes of unique, diverse, nature-based, gender neutral, highly engaging, critical-thinking, socially connected, emotionally aware, and enjoyable LEARNING…

It begins with us, as the model. Nature is so capable of leading the rest.

Much love, School Family

P.S. If I had more time, I would talk about how the Tadpoles helped it “rain flowers” by safely climbing low branches on the bushes. ‪#‎FrogPondKids‬‪#‎NatureBasedEducation‬ ‪#‎MudIsAToy‬ ‪#‎TreesAreCurriculum‬

(Gail, Executive Director)

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Tadpole Tuesday: Monday’s Sunny Post!

Everyone was so happy to see the sun shining this morning!

This morning at the art table Ms. Subhoi had out the play-doh for the children. They were busy using mixing bowls, rolling pins, spatulas and wooden spoons to bake many goodies.

Ms. Awatif opened up the media table where the wetland was converted over into an ocean animal habitat complete with sand! The children enjoyed playing with the sea turtles, dolphins and sharks.

In the back room Ms. Jessica was with the children pretending to be a train. The children all held hands and created a train that traveled through the back room collecting more children as they went along.

In the front room the Ms.Linda had the bristle blocks out for the children. They were creating crowns and bracelets to wear for one another and enjoyed sharing their creations with everyone this morning.

Outside the children were so delighted to discover a new toy in the yard!

To some it was a house and to others it was a castle. We had so many patient friends who waited their turn to venture inside the home and check out the mailbox and flowers in the windowsill. They were all so excited to have their turn to open the door and ring the door bell as well.

Other children enjoyed feeding the goats some fruit salad this morning.

They loved watching the goats lick and bite the pieces of honeydew and apples through the fence. Even some chickens came to join in a few pecks to the honeydew as well.

Over Toad Mountain Ms. Subhoi and the children had a fun time rolling logs down the hillside. Other children were digging in the dirt with shovels to search for any bugs that might join them. The monkey bar dome was another area that the children were climbing while others were swinging with friends.

Sincerely,

The Tadpole Team

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Tadpole Tuesday: Welcoming a Silk Moth!

This morning at the art table children were using Play-Doh to create cookies of many different shapes. Other children also helped to make a tea cup set and joined in sharing their creations with one another.

In the back room children used the soft balls to play catch with one another. Many practiced making eye contact with their friend before tossing it in their direction to keep the game going smoothly.

In the front room Tadpole children had out various puzzles to share with one another. Many children also took a peek at the seedlings that they planted in pots two weeks ago and were delighted to see the continued growth.

Outside Our Tadpole teachers had a wonderful surprise to share with everyone. Last fall a cocoon was found and placed in a terrarium for children to observe and this weekend out came a giant silk moth! The Polyphemus Moth is a common local moth and all the children came to see the beautiful changes it had undergone in our absence. Many noticed and saw that it was brown and furry with some hints of pink on the wings.

In the sandbox children were having a tea party with Ms. Linda that then turned into a baking party. Many cakes and even some pancakes were made with the sand and sand box tools.

Over on Toad Mountain the swings and the slides were the favorite choice today. Others found many different flowers in the yard and also splashed with water out in the yard.

We look forward sharing some fun science and art projects planned for this week!

Sincerely,

The Tadpole Teaching Team

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Tadpole Tuesdays: Thanksgiving Week Recap

(Week after Thanksgiving)

This week we will be learning about the sun and moon, day and night.

Today, at the art table the children colored the Thanksgiving coloring page with crayons. We talked about spending time with our families and their Thanksgivings. One little friend said she had a party with grandma and grandpa, then she started naming her cousins. Most of the children seemed eager to share about their Thanksgivings with their friends and the teachers. It was great to see the children so excited.

At the media table, the children played with dried leaves, pine cones, and feathers. The children touched and felt the feathers. Some of them were trying to tickle their friends with the feathers. Then we talked about the birds and how the feathers keep them warm in the winter.

In the back room, the children built with the wooden blocks with Ms. Marisa. They constructed a tall tower as a team. Then they knocked it down then built it back up again. Some of them also enjoyed playing on the sit ‘N’ spin toys going around and around.

In the front room, the children put on the dress up clothes and looked into the mirror proudly. Some of them took care baby dolls. They fed them, put the baby dolls to sleep, and read stories to the baby dolls.  Some of them were busy cooking at the kitchen corner and sharing with their friends and teachers. We read books, sang songs, and had circle time.

Outside the children enjoyed jumping in the puddles. They played hide and seek at the play houses. Some of them were busy baking by the sand box.

They also enjoyed riding cars on the side walk. Some of them were trying to look for the worms under the logs. We talked about how little bugs and insects don’t like the cold weather.

The Jumpers went to the play ground to play with the Frogs. They enjoyed jumping in the puddles and digging in the dirt pile with the shovels. Some of them were looking through the magnifying glass.

It was a fun rainy day at the Pond!!!

Sincerely,

The Tadpole Team

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Frog Fridays:

Today Frogs turned into vultures and soared over much of Toad Mountain looking for food.  First, we pretended to find some deer in the corner of Toad Mountain, by gate to Huntley Meadows.  Then, we imagined there was food in the tunnel.  We put our arms out as wide as they could go and soared back to the tunnel.  When we ate, we made sure to share food with one another.

Leopard Frogs played Nocturnal Animals with Ms. Megan in the backroom.  I am not certain which animals the children chose to be, but I can imagine there were quite a few cheetahs and wolves, and a unicorn mixed in here and there.

Some of the Bullfrogs made Rover, Perseus, Squeak, Rover, Elizabeth the 1st, and Speedy come to life.  It is impressive and so funny to see the children act out the voices of the puppets.  They really do believe the puppets are real (so do I).

The Pickerel Frogs put some finishing touches on their costumes.  Some of the children put ears or horns on their headbands so they could wear them with their costume.  Others glued their tails on their costume and finished coloring them in!

Other than soaring around Toad Mountain as vultures, the children enjoyed rolling tires and digging for Dinosaur bones.  Several children also played pretend games.

It was another wild day at the Pond!

Mr. Mark

Frog Lead Teacher

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Tadpole Tuesdays: Milestones, Seeds, and Leaves

This week we will be learning how “Plants make seeds and Trees lose leaves.” We are looking at a tree everyday and watching to see the leaves changing colors. We will also compare different types of seeds. Today, at the art table the children helped their friends to color tadpole tails.

Today, two of our friends lost their tails and became Frog. We did our good-bye ritual.  When I walked out from the frog class I felt sad. Saying goodbye is not easy. Even though it is sad, we still would like to congratulate the children and the families for reaching this milestone!

At the media table, the children played with the leaves and the twigs. They poked holes in the leaves with the twigs. They also counted the twigs. In the back room, the children built with the Legos. They built a city as a group. When they were done building they admired their city proudly.

In the front room, the children did animal puzzles and tried to imitate each animal sound. Some of them put on dress-ups and looked at the mirror. Some of them had fun cooking at our kitchen center and sharing the food with their friends and teachers. We also read books and sang songs.

Outside, the children tried to create leaf prints by dipping the fresh leaves into the different colors of paint and pressing them onto the construction paper to make the leaves print. Some of them decided leaf prints were not fun enough and dipped their hands into the paint.

One child’s mom brought cabbage for the goats and the children fed it to the goats. Thank you for the vegetables! The children had fun giving it and of course the goats enjoyed eating it.

The Jumpers went to Toad Mountain to play with the Frogs. They had fun screaming in the tunnel and played a running game. Some of them collected twigs and pretended to build a campfire. They played in a group and had a long conversation about the camping and the campfire. Some of them helped to dig the Frogs‘ garden.

It was another Great Nature Exploring day at the pond!

Sincerely,

Yashoda

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Tadpole Tuesdays: Simple, Natural Repetition and Connection

Today, at the art table the children colored school buses with their favorite colors of crayons.  While they were coloring, we talked about the colors and shapes. The children were working on their fine motor skills.

At the media table, the children played with the shredded paper and the animals. Some of them put the shredded paper on their heads and held up their hands to cover their faces with the shredded paper. Then they said, “Find me I am hiding.” The children played in small groups.

In the back room, the children played see-saws and the sit ‘n’ spins. Some of them played with the doll houses. They put the little people into the doll houses and read stories to them. Some built towers from the wooden building blocks. Then they measured their height to see if the towers were taller!

In the front room, the children played with the farm animals and zoo animals. They put the farm animals in the barn. They also imitated the animal sounds and walked around the class room. Some of them played with the baby dolls and took good care of them. We played game called, “Hot Dog.” It is a sensory game for the children and also helps to create bonds. We also read books, sang songs, and had circle time.

Outside, the children continued playing games next to the tunnels. They climbed over, under and around the tunnel. Then the teachers helped them to create a cozy place like a tent under the tree. They loved it! They took turns to play in it. Some of them were busy baking dinner and letting everyone try their creations. Some enjoyed playing at the water table, splashed in the water and laughing. Some enjoyed picking beans from around the garden fence and eating them.

The Jumpers visited our mini farm! They patted the goats and watched the chickens walking around in a group. They also enjoyed playing with the Frogs at Toad Mountain. They played a running game up and down the mountain. They found a toad and examined it as a group. They also found some beetles. They were very gentle and caring to the animals and the insects.

It was another great Nature Exploring Day at the Pond!!!

Sincerely,

Yashoda

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Sensory Walk Week! Reflections from the Frogs

The day started out so well, as we found an actual living cicada today, only one wing but it crawled and didn’t complain when the Frogs picked it up and carried it around before returning it to the tree.

For the Morning Meeting we talked about the Sensory Walk, then promptly left the classroom to remove shoes and walk thru food! Some of the descriptions of the walk were “gooey, not gooey, slippery, soft, and cold.” The children walked thru spaghetti, cooked and raw oatmeal, leaves, dough,cooked chia seeds and rice. Some liked the soapy water rinse that was the last stop.

The Green Tree Frogs experimented with Soapy Bubble Painting afterwards with Ms. Mary and Ms. MC. They dipped bubble wrap in soapy water, then paint, to make a textured mural. Many liked the foamy feeling while they worked.

The Northern Green Frogs did the Blind Touch Challenge today with Ms. Megan and me. They all had bags and blindfolds so that they could find classroom items using only the sense of touch. We demonstrated using a small paintbrush and they were very excited to be able to “see” it with their fingertips when they got their own bags.

On Toad Mountain, the Frogs had fun playing the Alligator Game with Ms. Megan on the Monkey Bars. Some played a game of Hide and Seek by hiding textured objects for each other to find, like rocks or chicken feathers.

The tunnel has been popular as it is cool and shaded and holds a suprising number of people. It was a castle this afternoon. The swings were a rocket ship.

Inspired by using our feet today, we made Foot Dinosaurs after lunch, including some new ones like Ms. Kimosauruses. Most of these are hanging on the wall for display.

Lastly, the Dragonflies practiced resolving conflicts with Rover and Squeak. Everyone took turns using the puppets while their classmates gave suggestions to find helpful resolutions. Your children really do know how to use their words and be a school family, I was very proud of their efforts.

Sincerely,

Kim, Associate Frog Teacher

 

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Tadpole Tuesdays: Sensory Exploration

This week we are continuing to learn about the five senses. This week we are focusing on smell. At the art table today, the children added cinnamon to their play dough. While they were playing they use their noses to smell. Some of them made a balls from the play dough and some rolled theirs on the table. They were saying, “I made a snake.”

At the media table, the children played with the multi-colored cards. Some of them counted how many cards they had. Others were talking about the colors and the shapes of the cards. They played in a small group. We practiced sharing and using the power of words to resolve conflicts.

In the back room, the children played with the soft balls, the school buses, and trucks. They put the soft ball into the trucks and drove them around the room. Some of them put the soft balls on the school bus and pretended to take them to school.  They threw the soft balls up to the ceiling and tried to catch them.

In the front room, the children played with the bubble star blocks. They made flower for their mommy and daddy. Some of them enjoyed dressing up in different costumes and some were busy cooking in the kitchen. They set up the table and fed a delicious meal to the baby dolls. We read books, sang songs, and had baby doll circle time.

Outside, the children practice smelling different things from nature. They smelled different types of herbs and the flowers. While we were learning about the senses we talked about all of our five senses and their different jobs. They are ready to learn with curiosity. After that they pulled grass and gave it to me to smell.  We have been learning about the differences between the weeds and the mint. Most of them already know but some of our little friends are still learning. They helped to roll the cart for the food man. They enjoyed swinging on the swings and playing by the sand box, cooking and baking.

The Jumpers went to Toad Mountain to play with Frogs. They played the Hungry Hippo game, running all around Toad Mountain. They also enjoyed playing in the turtle sand box. They scope the sand and put it on a tray to bake apple pie. They found many frogs and beetles while playing and looked at them together.

It was another nature exploring day at the Pond!!!

Sincerely,

Yashoda

 

 

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Tadpole Tuesdays: Fire Drill and Nature Exploration

Today at the art table the children made caterpillars with popsicle sticks and pompoms. They glued pompoms on the popsicles sticks, while they were making these crafts we sang a song called “The Creepy Crawlies.” The children love this song!

At the media table the children played with the different types of insects. They hid them under the shredded paper and asked their friends to find the insects. In the front room the children played with the alphabet building blocks. They built the tower with the blocks and tried to count them. One of the children said, “I can’t count, it’s a million blocks we have!”

In the back room the children played with the bead mazes. They counted the beads and practiced naming the colors. The children worked hard to go through the mazes. We also read book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Outside the children played at the water table. They scooped and poured the water from one container to another container. They enjoyed jumping in the puddles left from the water table. Some of the children visited our mini farm of goats and chickens. They offered flowers to the goats. One of the child said, “My mom saves flowers, but goat ate them, my mom doesn’t eat flowers!” Some of the children enjoyed playing at the sand box and swinging on the swing.

The jumpers had great time at the toad mountain. They found frog and a group of kids observed the frog. Some of the children offered a home for the frog and some of them made him food. They were being gentle to the frog and they were reminding each other to be gentle. We had a fire drill today. While all the children were outside some of the children asked what a fire drill is. Then I talked with my friends about the fire drill.

It was another fun day of exploration at the Pond!!!

Sincerely

Yashoda

Tadpole Team Lead Teacher

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