Goofy Jokes and Ants in the Sand

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In the Nursery, the first week can be a bit like a tea party while the children get to know one another and the room and routine and boundaries — and of course their teachers. Everyone can be just a little cautious. They are a bit careful to put their best face forward, and are a bit on their toes, while they take in all the amazing detail and nuance of their experience.

Even so, with these people, I can see that they are already feeling comfortable and relaxed. Even if a people are having a difficult time getting over the hump of goodbyes in the morning, they have let me help them with a cuddle or reading them a book… pretty remarkable!

We've had lots and lots of goofy, silly, inventive jokes — especially at lunch time — with laughter to match. There has been a great deal of cooperation and collaboration. Getting things that have dropped for the others. Watching out for people who maybe didn't know how to get down the loft ladder. Helping someone find the scissors. Letting me know if they thought someone needed something. Figuring out how to have one more person be on a trike. That kind of thing.

They love books and story time: Quick as a Cricket, There are No Cats in this Book, Mouse Soup, Frog and Toad, The Pigeon Needs a Bath, Knuffle Bunny, Theodore, A Smudgie Bear…. to name just a few that we've already read.

They've been getting lots of practice with setting times together and using our sand timers, which is our method to decide on when to go outside and to come back in. This will help them gain a foundation of how to reach a compromise for taking turns… with swings and trikes and other equipment or supplies.

I think because so many of these children are already practiced and comfortable with solving problems informally, they haven't needed many meetings as yet. I'm looking forward to when they do so we can practice this very useful process.

Here is a great anecdote from the very first day of our first week. The group was out in the morning on Tire Swing Side. One of the children from last year found a large segment from the trunk of an ash trees that had to be taken down a few years ago. Last year it had ants living in it. This year it wasn't hard wood any more; it was spongy. He began chopping it with a scoop taking off the spongy wood. Eventually he came over pretty excited to tell me that he had found the ants, "Ann, they're still living in the hard wood!"

Of course, the ants were looking pretty frantic running this way and that.

He watched for a while and then this Nurseryer began scooping sand over the ants and their home to replace what he had removed, "That will help them get their roof back."

Two other Nurseries came over attracted by the chopping/scooping activity. Not knowing the back story, what they wanted to do was to remove the sand, and so they did!

The first child returned to with another scoop of sand, watched for a moment and then objected telling them he wanted the sand to stay. They objected telling him they wanted to take the sand off.

I did my sign for "Pause," for everyone and then I asked him, "Are you comfortable when they take the sand off?"

He looked at them and said, "No, I'm not comfortable if you take the sand off.

I said, "Can you tell them why?"

He went into a very clear and succinct history of the ants and their stump.

The two girls listened and then began adding sand instead. The three worked together. One girl found another chunk of ash for the ants if they wanted to enlarge their home, "It's hard wood!" she announced.

She cheerfully got busy finding sticks that would serve as bridges for the ants.

"Ann, they're starting to use the bridges!"

Several more children spontaneously joined in, picking up on the ants' story as they went along.


Last modified on Sunday, 09 September 2018 20:54

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