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# The Trees Children Have Been Really busy!

December 9, 2020 | Kristen Jordan

The children in the Trees Classroom have been so busy since the Thanksgiving break!  Children are working very hard and we wanted to give you a glimpse into some of the activity that is happening in our classroom, across many areas of learning.

First, the work of sorting and counting the baby cereal that we collected has kept children very busy!  Sorting is an important mathematical skill and it helped us to see what we collected and to break the cereal into smaller groups that were easier to count.  Children sorted and grouped by type of container, color, and size.  They really worked together to figure out where certain containers should go.

Sorting also led to comparison: Which kind do we have the most of?  Which kind do we have the fewest of?

As children worked on counting, they did discover that smaller groups were easier to count, but they still often needed a strategy to keep track of which pieces they had counted.  Two very effective strategies were moving a box away or tipping the cereal over to help know which ones had been counted.

We did a lot of counting and when we were all finished, we found that we had a total of 75 containers of baby cereal!  Wow!

The children have also gained additional practice sorting, grouping and comparing with buttons.  They have sorted by size, design and color.

In other areas, there has also been plenty of work going on!

Children are creating at the light table.

They have been working on procedures and blending colors as they paint.

They are honing cutting and designing skills as they make collages of a Jesse Tree.

They’ve been exploring with clay. (And working on developing arm and fine motor strength in the meantime!)

Children are enjoying time with letters.

They have been drawing pictures of the story of Jesus’ birth.

And telling the Nativity story, both with figures, and practicing it themselves in preparation for telling it in collaboration with the entire preschool.  (But you will have to wait to see that!  We want it to be a special surprise!)

As you can see, we’ve been doing so much great work!

### 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!

June 21, 2023