Yellow Band: Coin, Weeks 1&2

Welcome back everyone! We’ve had a wonderful first few weeks in the Beehive. It’s been so much fun to see all of our returning Red Banders (now in Yellow!) and welcome our newest members of the Brightworks family into the Red Band.

Calvin, Abir, Sylvester and Kit stay cool by playing in the water table in the courtyard of the Beehive.

I know this is going to sound out of character, but things have been moving super s-l-o-w. Nathan, Nicole and I have carefully and intentionally introduced routines, norms and materials in order to teach these kiddos simply how to be here at school with us. Things that I might otherwise squeeze into the first two weeks, we’ve spread way out. This way, we have plenty of time to practice each skill as we add them and revisit materials frequently before moving on.

Pattern blocks are one of our favorite materials! We’ve been exploring some of the many possibilities of these blocks in our morning centers. Here Sylvester shows the vertical structure he tried to build using the blocks.

And Abir wrote his name with cuisenaire rods! I love how he replaced a few blocks with equivalents made up of a few blocks. That skill will come in handy later!

May is painting! We’re hoping to have a whole lot more painting this year!

At the beginning of this week, we started to get out some of our favorite board games. Here, Khalilah and Calvin face off in chess. Great job you two!

We’re also just getting to know each other! Dash and Isis take some calls at lunch.

Over the summer, Nathan and Nicole attended a workshop on the Responsive Classroom model for social and emotional learning in elementary classrooms. I used this model in my previous school. so it’s been great to work alongside them to make our classroom more cohesive in our approach to the flow of our day, how we introduce new materials, and how we handle misbehavior. We start our days with morning meeting, then move to centers. After park and lunch, each band usually reads a book together at quiet time. Then, our afternoons are choice time. Instead of moving through timed centers, Red and Yellow banders can go deeper into an activity they explored in the morning.

We also tried coin rubbing. Sylvester shows a coin that came out particularly well.

We also introduced a coin counting and trading game that we’re calling ‘Funny Money.’ Roll the dice, and collect the number of pennies indicated. Trade for more valuable coins if you want! Try to make it to a dollar! Here, Dash checks the dice, and records his roll.

Oh! And we went on our first field trip! Since it’s the Coin arc and Daiso is only 3 blocks away, I decided I should let these lucky kiddos choose their own school supplies. I went in advance to scout out the options and prices, and decided on a budget of $6 for each kiddo to choose: 1 journal with lines, 1 journal with blank pages or grid, one pencil bag, and a pencil sharpener (if you can find it). This trip was such a blast! I would definitely do this again, why not?

Ronin searches for the perfect pencil bag.

We found the cat stuff!

May hunts for the perfect last thing.

Abir the bargain hunter was able to get a pencil sharpener and a set of push pencils in addition to his notebooks and pencil bag!

The next morning, we used pattern blocks to help us add up the prices of our items (and see if we all were able to stay within our budget!).

Finally, we finished up this week with a dance party, because why not?!

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