Ann's Blog
Items filtered by date: February 2018
Sunday, 25 February 2018 00:14

Rain, Water, Mud & Visitors

We should be returning this week to a nicely spruced up school after our Open House on Sunday. It's designed for families that might be interested in learning about the Antioch School. Nurseries and I talked about this since we needed to bag up their saved arts and crafts projects and other collections to go home in preparation. One Nurseryer said, "I probably won't come. I know all about the Antioch School." 

The Nurseries do know. They have been fine and very natural hosts for the several visitors we've had now and then during the past several weeks… there was a teacher from the Portland, Maine area, two prospective families, and then this coming Monday, a graduate student from Antioch Midwest.

On Thursday afternoon, in celebration of mud and rain, the Nurseries excavated in the sand box on Tire Swing Side. They dug several holes and bucketed water from scattered puddles to fill them up. One child realized that they could dig channels between and create a flowing water works. Everyone joined in the process, draining all the available puddles in the forty five minutes that were left before we had to call in for our cleanup meeting. There was some concern that it was… "oh no, drying up." We talked a lot about how there was supposed to be more rain and how the puddles would fill up again by morning.

There was a lot more rain that night and on Friday morning, they joined in again adding more channels, carrying water in scoops and buckets and cauldrons. They were inspired by their rivers, truly satisfied with their teamwork, and deeply engaged by their discoveries of the physical properties of water and wet sand.

Now that the weather will be warming, we will be following up on these explorations and use our water table to fit in with their mud-time interests.

Let there be water! 

Sunday, 18 February 2018 21:37

Spring Is on Its Way

Valentine's in the Nursery was a lovely celebration with mail deliveries in the early morning, strawberries and half a dixie-cup of ice-cream to eat along with their snack, plus practice with delayed gratification while they waited until after snack to see what was in their mail boxes... and then the grand opening of their valentines! 

Our sugar maples have their drip buckets installed now for making maple syrup. But even before this, Nurseries seemed to know that spring is on it's way. We had one amazing shirtsleeve afternoon last week with more promised this coming week. There's more cold on its way too, but the new energy they feel in their bodies is telling them it's spring.

Several days last week Nurseries decided to dance in the open space of the block corner and since I was unable to get the music on our CD player fast enough, they came up with the idea (after Ben's example) of providing the music themselves. They took turns on the piano with their own solos and set their dancing stage for everything from slow ballet to a raucous stomp. It was a wonderfully inclusive, imaginative, musical celebration.  

On Wednesday, a parent and grandparent in the Nursery will be sharing the Bahai celebration of Ayyam-i-Ha with the children. There may be a story, music, dance,  cookies… we shall see.

By the way, family celebrations that you and your child would like to share are most welcome! When I first started teaching, I asked a friend from Iran if there was some sort of spring tradition she remembered from her childhood that she thought would fit with the Nurseries. She said in anticipation of the spring in Tehran, they always started a little planting of grass in the window. We have made our own plantings in the Nursery ever since. Last year another parent in the Nursery let me know this tradition is Zoroastrian in its origins and is one piece in the celebration of Nawruz, the Persian New Year. It is celebrated in many different cultures and countries around the world. 

Spring is on its way!

Sunday, 11 February 2018 23:49

A Good Luck Dragon

Nurseries contributed jasmine tea to the Lunar New Year Feast on Thursday. Early that morning, I explained to a little group that we needed to cut the bags out of the plastic wrap and then cut each little paper tag off its string (but not the little paper bag with the tea in it!) I showed them the red bowl for the finished tea bags. I also demonstrated what to do with a single tea bag and then the little group of five started in. I turned around to talk with another Nurseryer and then when I was able to turn back after a few minutes, all 25 tea bags were processed and in the bowl. They were on an enthusiastic roll and so we added in several more each! It was amazing, quick-processing team work!  We smelled the rice and stir fry, egg rolls  and spring rolls being made all morning.  Right before lunch, the Kindergartners appeared together as the good luck dragon, and then led the whole school on a firecracker (bubble wrap) path to the feast!

Zach, an alum of the Antioch School and a senior at YSHS, will be in the Nursery each week on alternate Thursday and Friday afternoons as part of his high school program. I explained to the Nurseries that he used to be in the Nursery a long time ago, that he is a friend of mine, and that he is very, very tall. They wanted to know if he is taller than me. I said he's a lot taller than I am. Taller than Nathan? I said I don't know, we will have to find out. One child trying to process time and growth adamantly proclaimed, "No! That's just not possible!"    

This seems to be a winter in which the snow may come, but it doesn't last long. So last Friday we waited for the typical warm up to begin and then, in the afternoon, took spray bottles filled with red, yellow, blue, purple and green, outside to give the world color again. They shared the bottles around, sometimes made cooperative snow paintings, explaining their ideas to one another. They sprayed snowballs with color and then skipped them along the ground leaving colorful skid marks. Zach was there and they reintroduced him to the Nursery room and then the Tire Swing Side.

Valentines are coming....



Sunday, 04 February 2018 20:02

Theater, Puppets, and a Guest

When we walked into the Victoria Theater last Wednesday, several Nurseries were looking up and around and making wondrous note of the beauty of the old theater. I think the well preserved, old formality of it plus the not-too-big size of it, made it just the right mix of awesomeness and accessibility for them.

There was a lot of interest in puppet making for the rest of the week. We had lots of paper plates and tag board on hand, but no paper bags, so children taped together folded colored typing paper and drew their character on the front! 

This is the third year in a row that the Victoria Theater Association has invited a Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia production. I am keeping my fingers crossed for next year as well!

Nurseries may have talked about a child who visited this past Tuesday. They were all wonderful natural hosts for him… welcoming him, engaging with him and incorporating him into their play. One person took him by the hand and showed him around the room, giving him lots of time to do stuff and be with other people, but then always came back to show him something else. Those two gave each other a goodbye hug when he had to leave with his dad. Several others wondered if maybe our guest could come back some time.

It's another measure of their growing ease in being a group and their comfort in expanding out to to others.

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