On Monday morning, we had such an art-filled day for all of the kids! Ms. Liz's Group worked on coloring in pictures of Spain and Portugal, decorating them with glitter, and practicing our sizzler skills by cutting the countries out and then gluing them to construction paper. Ms. Lizzie's group worked on gluing pictures of themselves in action and decorating the mural board with colorful markers. Kinder blossom practiced reading BOB books and "word on the wall" which is always a big hit with our young readers.
In the afternoon, we had Ms. Vanessa do an energy-filled yoga class with the students. It has been a lot of fun to witness the differences in yoga instructors and how the children are receptive to both teaching styles. Ms. Vanessa teaches a class that is highly active, silly and filled with games. Ms. Liz (of The Little Yoga House) teaches a class that is much more mellow and works hard to calm the breath and minds of our little yogis. The students really seem to enjoy yoga from both teachers with not much of a preference for one instructor over the other. It goes to show how open-minded and adaptable the kids truly are!
What a bittersweet day it was as Tuesday marked the day for Ms. Jackie's last day teaching at Green Sprout (tear). I remember the young Ms. Jackie who came into our school with little teaching experience but an unmistakable passion for knowledge, education, the arts and most importantly, children! Ms. Jackie was one of the first teachers for many of your little sprouts so many of them have a deeply rooted love and connection to Ms. Jackie. We thought it would be best to honor and celebrate this day with a morning dance party on the playground with the entire school. We laughed, we cried (alright... I cried), we smiled, we sang and we boogied! It was a special day and it was loaded with fun! We will all miss you so much Ms. Jackie!
As for the rest of the day, we enjoyed a stained glass art project that was inspired by Ms. Dom's European adventure and visits to historical cathedrals. We also enjoyed a calm yoga class with Liz before running, digging, exploring and jumping around on the playground.
All of the kids were eager to do Montessori work time on Wednesday and show off some of their skills to Ms. Sandy and Ms. Toni, who couldn't resist watching your students hard at work! After our focused learning time, we decided to opt out of group time and do one big community circle time because we had such low numbers and all of the kids were eager and excited to introduce their show and tells! It is always so exciting to see the assortment of materials, objects, toys and books that come in on Wednesday mornings! It is such an important learning experience for the kids to practice their public speaking skills, learn the importance of responsibility with personal property and to expand their vocabulary when hearing and saying new nouns and adjectives to explain their precious show and tells.
On Wednesday afternoon, we had Spanish with Ms. Daphne, learning about different jungle animals! We also had an opportunity to explore the rearranged centers. Ms. Liz thought it would be a good idea to move things around and bring in some new toys, such as the airport, for the kids to feel re-engaged during afternoon free-play. After Spanish, we cleaned up and got our dance on during a black light dance party for Tristan and Hunter who were celebrating their last day at Green Sprout!
I still remember Tristan's first day at Green Sprout, specifically I remember Tristan's ENORMOUS lunch! Ms. Toni and I looked at this 1 year old's PB&J sandwich, banana and snacks thinking that maybe Allen mistakenly switched his lunch for his sons. Nope. Sweet, pre-tot-aged Tristan ate the entire thing by himself! This grand lunch for a 1-year-old is a mere metaphor for Tristan's desire to take a big bite out of life. He has filled our days here with so much laughter, it is hard to say goodbye but we know he will rock kindergarten!
With clouds in the sky and a high chance of rain, our class opted out of having splash day, this doesn't mean that we didn't fill our day with fun adventures though! We decided to spend a little extra time outside in the morning in case it started to rain. We decorated treasure bags and filled them with special finds around the playground. After running our legs out for a bit, we came inside to do our Montessori work time. Water exploration, matching various container and jars with the appropriate lids, looking at insects through the magnifying glass, building puzzles of Europe, and lining washers and bolts up from smallest to largest were some of the most popular works of the morning!
After a long and restful nap, we woke up and read "It's Christmas, David" which has been one of our most popular books for Christmas in July. Many of students already know the book by heart so they love to read the story out loud as an entire class, giving our teachers' vocal cords a little rest. After our story, a special guest arrived, Chef Rich Reimbolt (aka Liz's boyfriend). With Dom in France at the moment, Liz thought it would be fun to have a juice, cheese and baguette tasting because why should Dom be having all the fun?! Chef Rich helped lead the special activity by talking about what was in some of the different juice varieties and some of the flavor profiles that might shine through. It was the most sophisticated class of 3-5 year olds I ever did see!
With such an incredible (and loud) thunderstorm we had into the early morning of Friday's school day, we decided to take advantage of the natural puddles and mud formed in our playground. We filled up sensory pools with rocks, mulch, dirt and water and gave each of the sprouts a toothbrush to use as a scrubber. Our class loved running around the playground, belting Disney classics and discovering different treasures to scrub clean with their toothbrushes in hand. About half of our students embraced the natural puddles, jumping around and making a mess, while the other half opted to stay clean and play on the monkey climber. With temperatures at such a rare low for the month of July, everyone (especially the teachers) were relieved to be able to hang out outside without feeling like we spent an hour in a sauna!
During the inside portion of our day, our class really enjoyed working together to build a Milky Way puzzle. We had a play date with Genevieve and Jackson and the older kids were very patient and helpful in allowing our younger friends to have turns connecting the puzzle pieces too. We have been discussing the importance of how our older students are teachers to our younger friends so it is crucial that we practice patience and offer a helping hand when needed.
Friday also marks Olive's last day at Green Sprout. I don't think I have ever met a child who knows about as much about music as I do. Nor do I know a child who returns home to her parents looking as clean as when she was dropped off in the morning. Olive's sweet smile, generous heart and eagerness to challenge herself scholastically reassure us that even though she is not going to be at Green Sprout, she will thrive! Her family is moving to Houston which brings great sadness to our entire staff here at Green Sprout (she has been with us since she was an infant!), however, we expect lots of pop-ins when her family returns to Austin for future visits!
Jodie Goldberg, Ashley Wooten and Alex Cummins