We have enjoyed our time together these first three days of school. It is amazing how quickly we are making connections with friends both old and new, learning new things about one another, and beginning to build a community. Our attention to building a safe and comforting learning community assures us that lots of rigorous learning will occur as the year goes on. In our brains, the social/emotional and the cognitive are intertwined. Optimal environments for learning are high in challenge but low in risk. In our first weeks, we build the foundations for a social context that recent research in the neurosciences informs us is most supportive for learning.
Today we had the challenge to reach out and make a new friend and we were excited to see a new kind of togetherness happening throughout the entire day!
"Can I help?" and then, "Yeah, you can help on this side!"
Or, "First everyone was working by themselves, then Tyler came up with the idea for the zoo!"
And, "Everyone added a part to our park."
And, "We started to make a castle and then they all started to connect to it all."
I wonder what new connections will be made as we head into the last day of our first week together…