Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Goldilocks and the Three Bears ECE

Some notes from our final weeks of the school year, still full of porridge fun! We ended with Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the classic English fairy tale.

The underlying message of this story, so brilliantly highlighted in Movement Journeys and Circle Adventures: Therapeutic Support for Early Childhood, Volume 2 by Nancy Blanning and Laurie Clark, is finding what is JUST RIGHT for you. This can even be seen as a therapeutic story for the sensory child, full of tactile defensiveness, as Goldilocks also navigates her very uncomfortable world before finding the comfortable sensations for her.

    Food that is
    Too hot
    Too cold

    Chairs that are
    Too hard
    Too soft

    Beds that are
    Too scratchy
    Too lumpy

Looking at the story in that light certainly challenges the assumption that it's simply a tale about an ill-mannered child!

For us, the theme was a larger one. We have one student bridging out of Early Childhood this year. He's 6 1/2 and ready to start First Grade next year, like Goldilocks opening the door to new explorations. And next year that is the classroom that will be JUST RIGHT for him. How incredibly exciting!

We continued with our Songs, Verses & Movement for classroom routines.

Circle Time

Monday, May 13

Our final porridge recipe today featured teff, the ancient grain from Ethiopia. It was delicious. We also enjoyed the exuberant rendition of "The Three Bears" from the Putamayo Kids CD Animal Playground, hearing the story in song form as a fun way to transition into our new fairy tale.

In playtime, kids worked on picking up the tape line which we walked for our "Sweet Porridge" movement journey (laying down and then picking up masking tape lines on the floor is wonderful fine motor and walking them is gross motor). A whole new play of Baby Bunnies and Foxes began today, with the two littler boys curling up beside me as baby bunnies and the two older boys taking a break now and again from building a town with the blocks to come and pretend to be foxes, getting closer and closer and closer. It was so interesting to watch the boys experiment through play with being a little bit afraid, and they both had no problem speaking up immediately when it stopped being fun for them. Developmentally, this is very important work.

The group engaged in Baby Bunny play for the whole rest of the two weeks, so clearly they were still drawn to it. The boys never played Baby Bunnies without being physically close to me, however. I'd sit on the sofa and they would say, "Let's be baby bunnies," and dive onto the cushions and curl up and ask me to cover them up with silks. I think it would have been too scary to be a bunny and meet a fox without a Mommy Bunny being quite nearby.

On the last day the play wrapped up on its own and all of the children agreed that the foxes would be kind foxes the entire time.

Tuesday, May 14 - Field Trip to the St. Louis Zoo

Thursday, May 16

  • narration and dramatic play

Today we reviewed the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and then I narrated it fully as the children and I acted it out, moving through the house from the kitchen table (where the porridge bowls were set out), to the dining room (complete with two big chairs and a little rocking chair), to the living room (where the sofa, the loveseat, and our Circle Time quilt on the floor acted as the three different beds). One child was Goldilocks, one was Baby Bear, one was Mama Bear, and I played the part of Papa Bear. It was so fun!

Today I also had to sew a very large patch on Zac's bottom bedsheet from some overly exuberant scissors play on his part, so the children were very interested in watching that. Plus, it was Fruit Salad Day. Here was our list of group contributions for the final Fruit Salad of the year:


Monday, May 20

I actually love Stan & Jan Berenstain's retelling of this story best out of all the picture book versions I have! Truly. It's not too long; it's not too short; it's just right.

Today we had beautiful weather so there was lots of outside play time. It mostly centered around transporting. The magnolia is about to flower and get its new leaves, so the old leaves from last season have fallen off in abundance. One group was collecting the leaves and using them to fill in holes they were happily digging. The other group made a boat out of the landscape timbers and was spearing "fish" by stabbing the leaves with sticks. They delighted in filling the sticks up with great bunches of pierced leaves.

The children had a lot of curiosity around watching Becca and her grandmother as they were in the kitchen working on a Science experiment for Becca's current study of Chemistry. This was the "Hot-Air Balloon" from Awesome Physics Experiments for Kids, page 88. The younger children didn't need to know all about molecules and air pressure... they could simply enjoy the results of this very cool experiment!

Tuesday, May 21

We had the opportunity to act out this story in a new way, as a Circle Time movement adventure. Today was also a snuggly Pajama Day! And I saw a renewed interest in fine motor skills, with board games that feature balancing (like Pandabo), eeBoo lacing cards, and Moulin Roty hand puppets.

On Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24 we celebrated birthdays and wrapped up the school year. And I hope everyone has a wonderful Summer!

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