"CREATE"

C is for Caring: for our toys, for each other, for ourselves.

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R is for Rearranging: blocks into cities, ideas into actions.

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E is for Engagement: with peers, with materials, with every element imaginable in a time and space.

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A is for Amazement: or what comes after dropping a paint-filled sock onto a sheet of blank paper.

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T is for Trying: New methods and different tools.

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E is for Emerging: out of winter and into spring. Oh what a beautiful thing.

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Pizza Pizza

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Who doesn't love a fresh slice of cheesy pizza? Inspired by the children's discussions about favorite foods, the toddler classroom recently completed a mini unit all about one of their collective favorite foods...pizza!

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They made their own artistic representations of pizza in a multi-step art project. First, the children painted sauce onto paper plates with red paint. Next, they sorted and selected preferred toppings, including shredded paper cheese, green peppers, pepperoni slices, and onions. Each child was given the autonomy to top their pizza however he or she chose: the teachers commented how interesting it was to see individual tastes represented in the art.

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Snack time became an especially hands-on, messy experience during pizza week! The children each received their own ball of real dough to pound, flatten and roll out. Using spoons to spread sauce and fingers to sprinkle cheese proved to be a delightful sensory experience for everyone. Some especially adventurous eaters opted to include pineapple chunks atop their pizzas. 

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Taking a field trip over to the preschool room to place the pizzas in the oven was an even bigger deal! If only you were here to smell the scent of those pizzas baking...

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Other activities included pizza-making role play in the dramatic play area with round pans and felt toppings, forming pizza playdough with slicers and colored shapes; several story time read-a-louds of the classic Pete's A Pizza; constructing english muffin pizzas, and reciting pizza finger plays during circle time.

All in all, a delicious time was had by all.

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P.S. While the newest and youngest members of the group couldn't partake in all of the actual pizza-making activities, they were thoroughly entertained cheering on their older peers during the process. :)

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Festivities

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Snow and gingerbread and twinkle lights, oh my! December has been chock full of festivity here at The Children's Meetinghouse, which makes the below-freezing temperatures outside a tad more bearable. 

When planning projects and curriculum, we pull inspiration from what's happening in the children's own lives. Suffice it to say, December is characterized by the winter solstice, family traditions, delicious baked goods, and plenty of sparkle. :)

Without further ado, highlights from the Infant/Toddler room include:

Glittery discovery bottles and sensory bags to squish, spin and explore...

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Digging and playing in the snow (while still remaining warm and cozy in the classroom!)...

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Learning about light, nocturnal animals, and the phases of the moon...

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Painting snowy trees and designing snowmen out of felt...

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Meanwhile, over in Preschool, it's all things gingerbread! 

Creating homemade ornaments and conducting gingerbread cookie tasting experiments...

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Operating a full-service gingerbread bakery in the dramatic play area...

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Outfitting life-sized gingerbread cutouts on sticky paper...

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Reading over 10 versions of The Gingerbread Man and voting on the favorites...

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Strengthening scientific inquiry and mathematical skills such as measurement, counting, graphing, and prediction though hands-on investigations...

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And last, participating in a lively, whole-school chase to track down a certain gingerbread cookie who escaped from the oven. (We found him, whew!).

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We wish you a joyful and peaceful remainder of the holiday season. See you in 2018!

Gratitude

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it feels necessary to pause and reflect on what we're grateful for at The Children's Meetinghouse. Young children are naturally filled with innocence, wonder and enthusiasm.  In a sometimes increasingly troubling and uncertain world, they remind us that there is still goodness to be found. 

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We are grateful for colorful masterpieces that result when children collaborate creatively.

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We are grateful for an abundance of rocks, sand, twigs and leaves on our playgrounds, and for seeing little minds utilize these materials in imaginative play.

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We are grateful for a well-loved collection of crayons and for their role in providing our children with daily opportunities to scribble and draw. We are grateful for those scribbles and the meaning behind them.

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We are grateful for musical instruments and songs, and for the inclusivity that musical exploration brings to a group.

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We are grateful for pockets stuffed with collected treasures and for the hands that keep them filled.

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We are grateful for teamwork, communication, and learning how to figure things out by sharing ideas.

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We are grateful for books and the magic found within their pages.

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We are grateful for wooden toy trucks and the joy they bring when sneakered feet zoom them across the classroom.

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We are grateful for leaves in shades of copper and gold, and for the thrilling feeling that accompanies jumping into a freshly-raked pile.

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We are grateful for science experiments and gathering together to conduct them.

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We are grateful for the smiles and the way that children unabashedly give them away.

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We are grateful for sunlight and how it keeps us warm on a crisp fall day.

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We are grateful for you! Thank you for being an integral part of The Children's Meetinghouse community, and for your support of our teachers, our children, and each other.