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Rivers Children Have Really Grown!

June 15, 2022 | Kristen Jordan

As we wrap up our thinking this year about growing and changing, children have been considering all of the many ways they themselves have grown.  They are noticing how they have grown physically and emotionally.  They note that they are stronger, faster, and are able to climb where they weren’t able to before.  Some mentioned that they don’t cry as much as they used to.  Some have reflected that they “…didn’t used to talk because I was shy,” but now they talk a lot!   

Another way that children have reflected on how they have grown is that they have each drawn a new self portrait.  They have really looked carefully at the features of their faces and have been very focused on trying to draw what they see.  They have noticed so many details!

Each child spent some time looking at the self portraits they drew at the beginning of the year in relation to their recent drawings.  They noticed both how they have changed in appearance and also how their work as artists has grown.  

Some children noted that they have more stamina now or draw with stronger lines.  For many children, they reflected that they now draw with more detail. 

“There aren’t eye lashes in that drawing. There are in this one.”  

“I drew my freckle.”

“I have more hair.”

“It looks more like me.” 

“My hair is longer”

Part of learning about being a learner is being able to reflect thoughtfully on your work and noting what has changed and how you have grown. 

To think a bit more about how the children are growing and changing, we have also been having conversations about our families and siblings.  The children often share information about their parents and siblings; being a part of a family is an important part of thinking about your individual identity and your place in the world. Many of the Rivers Class children have younger siblings, so on Monday, we had a “Baby Museum” to see what all of those siblings are like!

All of the Rivers Class younger siblings–ranging from 6 weeks to 2 ½ years old–came in and we learned a bit more about the many different stages of babyhood to toddlerhood.

They heard about how younger children communicate their needs, how many teeth they have and what they eat.  And they witnessed first hand how each child moves around!

It was a lively and delightful event!  

Afterward, children shared the things that are hard about having a younger sibling, and what they enjoy.  Most said that it can be hard to share and that they don’t like the crying!  But most love having someone to play with and love.  We also discussed what it is like to have an older sibling and what it is like to be an only child. It is hard for four-year-olds to believe that they were all in each of those stages at some point in their lives, not all that long ago!

Thinking about their own growth and change, as well as seeing other children in various stages, helps children to consider how they are growing and changing all of the time! 

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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