PADM: Honoring Life’s Cycles
Hello PADM Families! This blog contains some information about how we have been approaching the cycles of life- growing up and moving on to new schools, chicks, and butterflies- and information about the summer. As we come to the end of the year, we are honoring the cycles of life. We are beginning to have […]
Hello PADM Families!
This blog contains some information about how we have been approaching the cycles of life- growing up and moving on to new schools, chicks, and butterflies- and information about the summer.
As we come to the end of the year, we are honoring the cycles of life. We are beginning to have conversations about saying our goodbyes to friends who are leaving Greene Towne. We are starting to prepare the classroom for the transition from the school year into the summer. We have watched the eggs become chicks and the chicks return to the farm. And we have incorporated several new materials that describe the life cycles of various animals and plants.
Every year as a community we prepare to send off our Kindergarteners to their new adventures in first grade. This will be the first year that we will be sending a Kindergartener to the third floor rather than a new school- which is very exciting! We are having conversations about our excitement, our fears, our hopes, and our apprehension. All these feelings are normal and welcome when we discuss a big transition. This year we have a few second years and first years who will also be making big moves- some are even moving across the country! We have been listening to the children have conversations amongst themselves and have lead some group discussions about change and saying goodbye.
This community has already experienced several moves together and we can use those experiences to inform our discussions about the future- what was the same, what was different, what did we expect, and what surprised us. The children share insights with each other and continually surprise us with their wisdom.
In these conversations, we often use books as tools to help guide us. Here are some of the books we have found particularly helpful:
Our journey with chicks and caterpillars has been extremely illuminating this year- in an unexpected way. Our first dozen eggs and five caterpillars did not successfully hatch. Initially, we had one chick hatch that was not fully formed and unfortunately did not make it, one chick who did hatch and was quite small but survived, and ten eggs that remained unhatched. Our caterpillars did not form chrysalids and unfortunately all died. Mrs. Brown’s class graciously let us foster 5 of their chicks in our classroom so we still were able to observe the chicks for some time before they went back to the farm.
These experiences led to some very frank conversations about the nature of life and death. We read a book called Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children. This book frames death as a natural part of the life cycle of every living thing. It helped us guide the conversations that were happening organically. At school, we focus on death as a part of the life cycle and defer any conversations about what happens afterwards to families. We talk about how different people hold different beliefs and that while we may not agree, we respect each other’s beliefs.
To support all these conversations about life cycles, we have also introduced several zoology materials. At the moment, we have work that illustrates the life cycles of frogs, chickens, and butterflies. The children have been enjoying making books about the parts of a frog and the life cycles of butterflies and chickens.
We had special circle where we invited our friends from Toddler ADM to meet our chicks. Every child was offered the opportunity to either hold or pet a chick. Here are some photos of the children enjoying the whole process from egg to chick!
We did get to try again with both the chicks and the caterpillars. The caterpillars have formed chrysalids, so fingers crossed! Much to our relief, all 12 of our second batch of eggs hatched. The children took part in a naming circle and chose 12 names for the chicks. Below you can see the original list and our poster. The final list of names was: Fluffy, Lightning Bolt, Starlight, Chickpuff, Chickstar, A Ghost One, Dinosaur Chick, Sparkle, Fireblade, Firebolt Laser Poison Blade, Clementine, and Pear.
We are so excited about this summer! Summer is a great time for the children to get extra time to bond with their teachers and friends because it is a smaller group. We spend more time outside and do special activities. We will have water play, Mad Science, art, and visits from Mr. David. We would like to plan some field trips this summer to visit area parks and playgrounds. We will continue our Giant shopping trips and cooking projects as well.
STAFFING: During the summer the classroom teachers from Primary ADM will also be the classroom teachers for summer camp. This year, the teachers are each taking one contiguous month off. Ms. Amanda, Ms. Shawn, and Ms. J are taking the first break (mid-June to mid-July). Ms. Maggie, Teacher Bailey, and Ms. Allison are taking the second break (mid-July to mid-August). Ms. Kelly and Ms. Chrisnetta- former PADM teachers- are coming to fill in where needed all summer! We are so happy to have them back this summer.
ITEMS TO BRING:
Seasonally appropriate extra clothes
Small terry cloth towel
Sunblock (MUST BE LABELED WITH YOUR CHILD’S NAME)
**Please clearly label all items with the child’s name.**
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to email us!
Maggie, Amanda, Jamie, Bailey, Allison, and Shawn