All of a sudden it seems that fall is really here and so is the end of October! The children in Opal 1 are becoming very comfortable and familiar with their new routines at school. I thought it might be helpful for you to have a peek into the schedule and structure of their day. This will serve as an introduction to some possible ways we spend our time together. In future blog posts, we will go more in depth into some of these structures, but this will provide an overview and I hope a place for you to begin asking questions and developing some of the language we share.
Arrival: Our day starts at 8:30 am. At arrival parents sign-in their children and help them to wash their hands. This is a time for children to settle into their day, connect with friends, look at a book, or draw.
Morning Meeting: We all meet together every morning. This is an important time of our day as we greet each member of our community and talk about the possibilities for our day. During this time we might look at a morning message, sing songs, share stories, check in about class issues, and more. This is an important time where children begin to develop a sense of belonging as we work to strengthen our community.
Story Workshop: This is a time where we dive deep into the world of stories. The children hear stories, tell their own stories using many different materials, share stories with peers, act stories out, write collaborative class stories, and more!
PE: Three days a week, Amy, our P.E. teacher, takes the children outside to learn new games, take on new physical and community challenges, and support the children to move their bodies in new ways.
Reader's Workshop: This is a time of day where we fall in love with books! We spend time reading both together and independently. We play with letters, sounds, word patterns, and more! We also begin paying attention to the thinking that happens inside our minds when we read, as we begin to develop a language and understanding for a variety of comprehension strategies that good readers use.
Math Workshop: Math workshop is a time where we play with mathematical ideas, develop strong number sense, use manipulatives to explore and explain our thinking, and begin to see our world through the eyes of mathematicians.
Lunch and Siesta: The children have a half an hour for lunch. This is a time for caring for our bodies and making sure each child has the fuel they need to last throughout the day. The last five minutes we turn on quiet music and ask the children to focus on finishing their lunches. As they finish and clean up, they are invited to spend some time quietly reading a book, resting, or writing in their journal.
Project Workshop: Project Work is a longer term study that evolves from the interests and questions of the classroom community. Within the structure of project work we do many things, from reading books that relate to an idea we might be exploring to having a science talk where the children dive deeper into their theories around a particular question.
Explore: Children make choices from a variety of possibilities. The classroom environment and the materials that are available that day influence their choices. Some examples of possible choices are building with blocks, writing and sending messages to friends at the message table, exploring with light and shadow at the light table, exploring at the sensory table, dramatic play and more.
Closing Circle: At the end of each day we come together to reflect on our day. We might share highlights or memories we want to take home with us or offer compliments to each other and more.