GTMS Life > Blog July 20, 2020

Toddler ADM: July 2020

Welcome Back!  Hello Everyone,  We are all so happy to be back in school together! Returning to GTMS after three months at home has been surprisingly smooth for everyone, even with our new protocols. It has been amazing watching the childen pick up where they left off. They have been enjoying the work on the shelves, circle time, and […]

Welcome Back! 

Hello Everyone, 

We are all so happy to be back in school together! Returning to GTMS after three months at home has been surprisingly smooth for everyone, even with our new protocols. It has been amazing watching the childen pick up where they left off. They have been enjoying the work on the shelves, circle time, and having their routine back, but mostly they love being in the same space as their friends. The environment is buzzing with salutations, hugs, check ins, and conversations, along with an ocassional “I love you” throughout the day. The soundtrack to our days has been so sweet and endearing. We are home. 


Adjustments To Our Routines And Environment
Partitions On Tables

Mr. David, our Facilities Director, designed and created partitions on tables that look like windows and picture frames (according to our toddlers). During the first two days with the partitions, the children were interested in them and wanted to touch them and talk about them just as they do with anything novel or new; but now they are almost nonexistant to them. We have seen them working in action during lunch and they are wonderful! The partitions you will see in the slideshow are prototypes, and after using them in the classroom, Mr. David modified them to ensure they are sturdier and toddler resistant. We love them!


Toddlers Wearing Masks 

Our approach to toddlers wearing face masks is the same approach we use with other procedures and acitivities– like washing hands or sitting while eating. We presented wearing masks as a Grace & Courtesy lesson during Circle. We first discussed germs, and that wearing a mask would protect people from them and from getting sick, just like when teachers put on gloves to serve food: “You don’t want my germs to touch your snack!” Then we spoke about children who are 3 years old and older must wear masks at school to keep their bodies safe from germs, and to keep their friends safe from getting their germs. We drew masks on one of their favorite characters, David (see photos below), and discussed how to wear them and when: covering nose and mouth and never wear one while eating or sleeping!


We remind children throughout their day to fix their mask, and that’s ok! When we do remind them, they are quick to put them on or pull them over their noses. If a child is having a tough time wearing one, that is ok too, but we choose their spot to work: “You can work with your friend if you wear your mask, but if you take it off I can choose a spot for you to work alone. Which would you prefer?” Sometimes the child will choose their mask and other times they will choose to sit at the far end of the room to work without one. 


While some adults were hesitant to believe a 3 year would keep a mask on throughout their day, the children have proven to us just how capable they are. The entire process has been very easy, thankfully. Thank you for working on it at home and for obtaining masks that your children love- they are very excited to show them to us and talk about them! 


To normalize wearing masks a little more, we embeded this idea into the curriculum in a varitey of ways:  


1. Face Mask Matching: Ms. Anja took photos of children who wanted to have their photos taken wearing their masks and another of them without their masks. We used these photos to create a matching work. 

2. Doll: We decided to bring in a doll to give children more control over giving a mask to someone else (the doll). They can remind her that she is 3 years old, so that means when she is at school, she needs to wear her mask.

3. David: Our children LOVE the David books, they always do! It seems that they can connect with the character- he knows the rules, but often needs reminders of them. The children love to remind David of the rules! Special note: We never read the words-– quite frankly, they are not positive nor pleasant to hear. Instead we describe what is happening:

  • “Oh David, I know you love to finger paint and I see that you are using red paint right now… but friends, what does David need to do?” Answer: “Wash his hands!”  
  • “Oh no, David’s mask is on his chin! His friend looks concerned for him! What can we tell David?” Answer: “Oh David, I think you forgot that your mask should cover your mouth and your nose. I forget sometimes too.” 
  • “David chose the table scrubbing work and look! He scrubbed all of the tables! Thank you, David!”



Self-Service Snack

To minimize the spread of germs, we have decided that self serve snack would no longer be an option. We are now having a group snack before our morning recess. In the morning, an adult will fill up containers with a small portion of food: three crackers, a piece of dried mango, five raisins, and maybe three twist pretzels. Each container is given a child and afterwards is cleaned and sanitizied. 


Drinking Water

We have asked everyone to bring in their own water bottles rather than have them use one water source to obtain drinking water, and thank you for doing so and for labeling them! This helps to minimize how many little hands are touching one pitcher for pouring water. The children are still able to pour water as a work, so they will still build this skill. 


We have noticed that the children have been drinking WAY more water throughout their day. We are refilling their water bottles almost four times throughout their day! 



Aprons and Work Rugs

We decided that it would be best for each child to have their own apron and work rug. Their aprons hang on their hooks and their rugs sit on the base in their cubbies. The children immediately grasped retrieving their apron from their cubby, but the idea of obtaining a work rug was lost at first; however, this past week they started to use them, and began reminding each other to get theirs!


Soap and Water

We have added more water work inside and outside, In the classroom we have brought back an old water table that is being used to clean work. Much of the work is directly sanitized by adults, but there is also work that is suited for water; and after children use the work, they are encouraged to bring it over to the cleaning station. This type of water work is interesting to the children, helps to build concentration, and simutaneousy has the children “washing” their hands at the same time. 


Washing Hands

To be sure that children are washing their hands properly, we have started to give them stamps on their hands, and have also been assisting them in counting to twenty while scrubbing their hands with soap. Thoroughout their day, the children receive a stamp on each hand and may return to work or to eat after the stamps are scrubbed off of their hands. They also have been counting to twenty while scrubbing and have been excited to do so, even though “eleventeen” sometimes is said and then skips to eighteen. Remeber, it’s all about the process!


New Songs 
Teddy Bear

Ms. Laura taught us this song last week while subbing for Ms. Sydney, and we have been singng it while lining up at the end of recess. The children receive a teddy bear stamp while another adults sings the song with them. Waiting and transitions can be tough for toddlers, and sometimes songs help to keep them interested and focus. 

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Turn around.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Touch the ground.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Show your shoe.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

That will do.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Climb the stairs.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Brush your hair.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Turn out the light.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Say goodnight.


Pig On Her Head

We have been singing this song (by Laurie Berkner) to dismiss children from circle. Each child picks their own animal to have “on their head.” This song gives the children some control (choice of animal), time to move, and also helps to slow down the traffic of children while washing hands. 

(Child’s name) has got a pig on her head, 

(Child’s name) has got a pig on her head, 

(Child’s name) has got a pig on her head, 

And she’ll keep it there all day!

What does it say? (child makes the animal sound)


Mask Song

Here is a song we made to help with wearing masks. 

If you have a mask, put it on, put it on

If you have a mask, put it on, put it on

Cover your face, keep your body safe

If you have a mask, put it on!



Please enjoy the slideshow and vide below!


Ms. Michelle and Ms. Dominique


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