Our Daily Rhythm
GATHERING This is a "settling in" time in the Monkey Room (Rm 1). Parents have an opportunity to sign-in their child at the front table, greet each other's families, etc.. Children store their belongings in their cubbies and get comfortable on the rug. Children are encouraged to choose a book to look at with a friend and their parent. Parents are invited to stay and join in our greeting circle. Teachers are busy preparing the classroom at this time and will open the doors to the middle and Monet Rooms (Rooms 2 & 3) when the classrooms are ready.
GREETING CIRCLE and PLANNING We begin with the song …♫ We've been waiting for you… ♫ Parents say their good-byes and teachers set the tone for the day. This usually involves describing the special activities that are being offered in addition to the regular available ones. Part of the time may be used to share what children did on previous days, discussing the children's thoughts on the goals the activities were set up to achieve, and discussing our ideas about these things. Planning engages the teachers in creating an excitement for the day—encouraging children to explore the classroom and outdoors to discover what is different. Teachers also may suggest much loved activities for more reticent children that will ease them into their routine. Children are expected to be increasingly independent in their choices reflecting their own unique interests, ideas, and creativity.
OUTDOOR EXPERIENCES Our playground provides for choices in art, music, construction and loose parts play, house and mud kitchen, dry river bed, stage, campsite, sand area, as well as a bridge over a small stream and woods for observing and exploring with guidance and support from adults. The outdoor space serves as an extension of our classroom. Provocations for wonder and exploration are set up intentionally by the teachers to invite children’s investigation and activity.
SMALL GROUP TIME At this time the class is divided into groups meeting in Room 1 or Rm. 3 with their small group teacher. The small groups remain consistent throughout the year. Small group time consists of a snack, a story, and sometimes a short activity. It is an important time for conversation. The ideas that emerge when children are relaxed and enjoying their food are wonderful expressions of their thoughts. It is a time when children laugh together, share ideas, and listen to one another. These experiences build community and the strong relationships that extend to other parts of the classroom
TIME TO EXPLORE AND INVESTIGATE take place in the Middle and Monet Rooms. Choices during this time may be made from any or all of the following learning areas. In the Middle Room: SENSORY TABLE, WATER TABLE, BLOCK CENTER, DRAMATIC PLAY, CHALKBOARD, and a QUIET AREA, In the Monet Room: STUDIO ART, EASEL PAINTING, BEAUTIFUL STUFF/COLLAGE, “MUDWORKS”/CLAY, LIGHT TABLE, SCIENCE DISCOVERY & RESEARCH CENTER, MATH CENTER, DRAWING/WRITING CENTER and the LITTLE DESK. Occasionally the Monkey Room is used for SPECIAL ACTIVITIES. Teachers plan for and vary the materials within the areas weekly to support the program goals and to stimulate continued interest.
CLEAN-UP TIME (a time is chosen which is a natural breaking point in the children's play). We sing our clean-up song together. ... ♫ Time to clean up now, and put away our toys. ♫... Children all help to put away the toys, sweep the floor, wipe tables, etc. Children who are finished may look at the items on the light table while they wait by the cubbies for their classmates. When everyone is ready the group proceeds to Room 1 (Monkey Room).
CIRCLE TIME We gather in a circle on the rug in the Monkey Room. Circle time is used for songs, finger plays, and movement activities. Part of the time is used to further reflect on the day's activities: we share stories of our day, and focus the children's thoughts on goals that activities were set up to achieve. We often discuss our ideas and feelings about other relevant things.
DISMISSAL Children are dismissed from their small groups, in Rooms 1 and 3. It is important to make contact with a teacher and to sign your child out at the front desk before you leave. On occasions when children are outdoors at dismissal time, parents are asked to come out to the playground to pick up their children and make contact with a teacher. Please help all children including siblings to abide by the playground rules. Parents find it useful to come a few minutes early to check the Parent Information Board, the Message Board, and cubbies. Teachers and parents use this time to communicate any special events or concerns about the child's day at school.