It has been an exciting first week of school in the Yellow Room! These first connections are the origin from which a year’s worth of rich experiences and memories blossom. Captured in the photos below, we can see children playing alongside each other and noticing one another, yet their moments of eye contact, connectivity, and interaction are fleeting. Over time, their small, individual worlds of play and vitality will merge to become our special Yellow Room community.
As Storyparks are shared throughout the year, be on the lookout for images and illustrations of mutual connection. Fostering deep relationships and engaging with others in meaningful, trusting ways is the essence of schooling in the second and third years of life. This is because meaningful learning at this age is facilitated through trusting and mutually gratifying relationships with peers, teachers, and the environment.
Hence, the separation process is about children establishing a baseline of trust in their teachers and that the classroom is a safe place. Each child comes to this realization on their own timelines and in their own ways. Some must investigate the entire room, looking into each cupboard, under each table, and dumpingeach bin to fully understand that their environment is not threatening. Whereas others may stay close to their grown-up, visually scanning the environment and the people around them for signs of danger. Only once the need for safety is fullled can a child reach out and engage with their environment and the people in it. Each subsequent interaction becomes the building blocks for children to trust their teachers, peers, and school. This is our goal in the Yellow Room for the first weeks and months of school.
Now for the fun! Throughout the week some interests and themes have surfaced, including dramatic play with trains and playdough, reenacting home life (cooking, cleaning, and talking on the phone), art and family connections, and gross motor play. Within these play activities, it is amazing to see how children in the Yellow Room try to engage their teachers, such as passing a phone to “call them” or sitting us down for a playdough meal.
Cooking and playdough were constant pleasures. Many children spent time cutting, squishing, rolling, and folding playdough. Playdough was stuffed in muffin trays and baked in the oven, whereas at other times playdough was cut and served on platters. Putting things in the oven and rediscovering them later proved to be a delight. Many humorous moments occurred while cooking as children made phone calls, experimented with various ingredients, and sat their teachers down for meals.
Many of the children also cared for babies as they changed diapers, made diner, and helped with small pajamas before singing lullabies and tucking babies in bed.
On Friday our class visited the gym for the first time! This gross motor space was well appreciated as we ran, climbed, slid, threw, and jumped. Huge smiles, joyful cheers, and sweaty hair were abundant in the gym.
Some sweet interactions were made while sharing family pictures and books.
Some may have noticed that our painting projects have become parts of our welcome boards as well as contributing to our new Yellow Room Art Book, which will become a collection of communal art pieces as the year progresses.
We look forward to what else evolves and blooms over the next few weeks!
Until next time,
The Yellow Room