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June 9, 2021 | Kristen Jordan

As we continue to learn, there is so much to celebrate!  

Last week, after each child had finished at least 2 number stories, we celebrated their hard work. 

Children worked with partners and everyone had the opportunity to read and hear at least two number stories, one where the numbers got bigger and one where the numbers got smaller.

Children used their drawings and the numerals they had written on the pages to help read the stories, and some had included letters that helped with the process as well. After everyone had finished reading, each child offered their partner a compliment about one thing in their book.

Not only does this kind of sharing celebrate the hard work, it puts it out there into the world, in a different way from simply doing work and packing it away for oneself.  It offers an opportunity for children to practice using a clear voice for an audience (even if it’s an audience of one).  Sharing with a friend also requires good listening skills on behalf of the person hearing the story.

We are also celebrating living creatures.  As I’m sure you have heard, a second snail has joined Slivers (another find on a walk…) and it is very exciting!

Again, we had another vote to choose a name and Swirl was the winner.

Children still have a few lingering questions about snails to answer.  One question is why snails move so slowly.  So they tried moving like snails and ants to help gain understanding about why it’s easier to move when you have legs!

For quite a while children have also been thinking about what kind of skeletons various animals have: 

Internal (Endoskeleton)

External (Exoskeleton)

No skeleton (like a slug, jellyfish, or a snail–but a shell is a kind of Exoskeleton)

Categorizing is a skill that can help children or organize information and knowledge in a world where there is so much!

And, we have gained some new creatures who have exoskeletons in the classroom: Ants!  The children have been very interested in the ants that they see at the park and will be able to observe them easily in the ant farm in our classroom.

They arrived on a Friday just before dismissal so the children did not get to see them go into the ant farm but I took photos and we compared what the ant farm looked like before and after the ants had dug tunnels over the weekend.  They had done lots of work!

The children have noticed that the ants have moved lots of sand to create tunnels and rooms. They are wondering how the ants move the sand and they have been watching carefully to see if they can learn how the ants do this work.

Again, the children are sharing what they know and have many questions that we have begun to explore.  One of the many things children are really pondering is how many legs ants have.  

How many legs do you think ants have?

Sometimes, a part of the process of learning is sitting with information you don’t know for a bit and doing work to figure out the answer. 

The Trees children are such good researchers and that, in and of itself, is worthy of celebrating! 

Kristen Jordan

Teacher, Rivers Class

Kristen Jordan began helping at Mustard Seed School in 2006, after her daughter had been a student in the preschool. She substituted for many years in all grades; in 2011, she returned to the classroom and has been a teacher in The Nest ever since.

Prior to the birth of her daughter Clara, in 2002, Ms. Jordan worked in Brooklyn as a first grade teacher with the New York City Public Schools. During this time, her school collaborated with the Brooklyn Museum, and this work helped Ms. Jordan develop a real interest in the parallels between the process of making art and the process of writing in the classroom. She thoroughly enjoys teaching both art and literacy to preschoolers.

Ms Jordan’s background includes work with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. While at Teachers College, she trained with esteemed educator and author Lucy Calkins. Early in her teaching career, Ms. Jordan did not think that she wanted to teach very young children but her view has changed! She now really enjoys and takes great interest in young children and their development.

Ms. Jordan enjoys reading, working out, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her daughter and family. Although she has lived on the East Coast for a very long time, as a native of Oregon, she really loves the mountains!

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