Room 7 has been practicing our expressive writing skills using the First Authors Curriculum. Our students are given 30-45 minutes a day to write about a topic that was voted on by the class. As a group we "brainstorm" about the topic then get 15 minutes to free write. Then, every Friday, we host an "Author's Chair" where 3 lucky students are chosen to come up and sit in our specially decorated chair and share about their favorite writing passage from the week. During this time, the other students are also able to practice their active listening skills by asking questions and commenting on the the writing passage. Check out our proud authors and listeners below!
What is SYMBOLIC PLAY? Symbolic play is the ability of children to use objects, actions or ideas to represent other objects, actions, or ideas as play. A child may push a block around the floor as a car or put it to his ear as a cell phone.
At around 8 months of age, as their symbolic thinking develops, children become familiar with objects, actions, and ideas through observation and exploration. An early example of symbolic play would be a child making noise with their baby toys by banging them or shaking them. As the child shows understanding of the object’s use, he may pick up a comb and touch his hair.
At around 18 months of age, children begin to engage in pretend play and use one object to represent another, like drinking from an empty cup or pretending to feed a doll. A toddler’s play is much more connected to imagination, with sticks becoming boats and brooms becoming horses. Their play is mostly solitary, assigning roles to inanimate objects like their dolls and teddy bears.5
Preschoolers, from ages 3 to 5 years, are more capable of imagining roles behind their pretend play. Their play becomes more social, and they enjoy make-believe play. They assign roles to themselves and others involving several sequenced steps often with a predetermined plan, like pretending to be at the doctor’s office or having a tea party.
Floortime strategies for helping children build symbolic play:
* Identify real life experiences your child knows and enjoys
* Respond to your child's desires through pretend play
* Encourage role play with dress up, puppets, etc.
Kerkstra 22 joined Kerkstra 7 to welcome spring by visiting the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago. We enjoyed a variety of exhibits that were both interactive and educational! Students learned about how the Darkling Beetle and Box Turtle moves and feels. They loved seeing the living animals, fish and bug collections, as well as the real taxidermy exhibits. "Mysteries at the Marsh" and "Butterfly Haven" were a couple of favorite exhibits!!! Students explored the Green House area and discovered how to care for the environment within our own homes. Lastly, we took an outdoor nature walk on the perfect spring day!!
We had a great day together on April 10th where we had the opportunity to play and learn at Frankfort Kidswork Children’s Museum and Commissioner Park. At Frankfort Kidswork Children’s Museum, part of the Trolley Barn, there were many stations and exhibits that we could explore. Our students loved to play with the sensory table and play in the Lights and Shadows room. When we finished learning at the Museum, we went to play at Commissioner Park. While we were there, we enjoyed a pizza picnic. Below are a few pictures from the exciting day!
K-9 spent a fun filled morning at the Sensory Depot.....What a hit! The room offers a quiet space with all sorts of sensory activities. While half the group enjoyed the sensory room, the other half participated in sensory crafts and gross motor activities. I think we can all agree Michael clearly enjoyed the trampoline!! The Sensory Depot is located in Alsip and is run by South West Special Recreation Association. It is open to the public, so definitely check it out!
Room B6 has really been working hard on improving our life skills and coping strategies through fun Friday activities. Our classroom does a daily reading group that focuses on current events from News 2 You and Monthly Unique reading units. The team created fun activities that collaborated with stories and events we are reading about. We have cooked "Car Sticks" after reading about Carvana's New car vending. This week we made Season Sensory Calm down bottles after reading about the changing seasons with Todd the Turtle.
Have you heard of the FLOORTIME MODEL?
The Greenspan Floortime Approach is a system developed by the late Dr. Stanley Greenspan. Floortime meets children where they are and builds upon their strengths and abilities through creating a warm relationship and interacting. It challenges them to go further and to develop who they are rather than what their diagnosis says.
In Floortime, you use this time with your child to excite her interests, draw her to connect to you, and challenge her to be creative, curious, and spontaneous—all of which move her forward intellectually and emotionally. (As children get older, Floortime essentially morphs into an exciting, back-and-forth time of exploring the child’s ideas.)
For any age child, you do three things:
Room 18 incorporates play throughout the day!
Kerkstra Room 22 rolled into Orland Bowl to enjoy a fantastic Community Outing with friends and teachers! Students enjoyed the day bowling and eating delicious pizza for lunch!
B6 is happy to report there has been lots of changes to our classroom. Our classroom has grown in many ways. We have welcomed some new students and new staff members to Room B6. We are enjoying making new friends and exploring different relationships. Every student and staff member contributes in their own way in making B6 a stronger well oiled learning machine! Way to go B6 on embracing the change and continually gowning as a team.
February was a busy and exciting month for Kerkstra Room 7! It started off with learning about Groundhog Day. Our students did their own poll and believed Phil would predict 6 more weeks of Winter. They were correct! Later in the month we went on a community outing to Legoland where our students had a blast learning and playing with legos! We did a build-it workshop that taught us how to build our very own pulley system. We were also able to watch a 4-D movie, which was so fun! Our next adventure was to Jump Zone in Orland Park for our program wide outing. We spent the day putting CD's 3 B's (being responsible, being respectful, being safe) in to practice by jumping, running, and interacting with all of our of CD peers! After our outing we were able to come back to school and have our Valentine's Day party. It was a great month!
We have had a busy and active 3rd quarter in Braun 15! Thus far, we traveled to Lemont Pool, Orland Jump Zone, and Orland Bowl. Our absolute favorite was swimming because jumping off of the side of the pool was so much fun. Everyone enjoyed putting their face under the water.
We are looking forward to an adventure at KidsWork Children's Museum in Frankfort, IL this April.
CD students participated in the winter PBIS booster activities this week focusing on the 3B’s of CD. Lessons to achieve the 3 B’s of CD involved teaching:
Be Safe: Safe Hands and Feet
Be Responsible: Follow Directions
Be Respectful: Be Kind/Polite
Kerkstra 22 then attended the CD PBIS Kick-Off Community Outing at Jump Zone. We joined the entire CD Program to celebrate with jumping, climbing, sliding and eating. Can your child name the 3 B’s of CD?
K-9 continues to work hard on expected behaviors! Our PBIS Kick-off this month has a special focus on "Being Safe." Students practiced maintaining those safe behaviors of safe hands, safe feet, walking during transitions and responding to safety words! As a special reward for "Being Safe" the entire CD program enjoyed a morning at one of our favorite spots....Pump It Up! We jumped, ran, climbed and slid our little hearts out! We ended the day perfectly with what else.... PIZZA!