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Welcome Bears!

September 28, 2022 | Kristen Jordan

Last week, children noticed that bears began appearing in various places in our classroom.  They wondered why they were there: “What are we going to do with them?” Some of the children who were in the preschool last year, suspected that they would soon be able to choose a bear to call their own, and they began to get excited about the prospect. 

After 3 long days of waiting, finally the children were able to choose their bears on Friday. Each child found a bear that they thought looked like a good fit, and attached a tag with their name on it. 

Then everyone enjoyed some cuddling time with the bears!  It was a very exciting Friday morning!

The children have been enjoying the bears since, holding them and getting to know them.  They have been working on what to name their bears and thinking about how each child’s bear is similar and also unique, just like the children!

Children have been having conversations about their bears with Mr. Dominguez.  They have talked about what makes the children themselves feel safe and cared for, and in turn, what will help to create a safe place at school for their bears.  Some of the ways they said they feel cared for are: being in their home with their bed, covers and pillows, as well as lots of love, kisses and hugs, and food.  They’ve discussed what kind of food their bears like: dog food, pickles, tomatoes, broccoli, spaghetti, s’mores, and cheese!  (Do you recognize your child’s favorite food here?)

The bears can help children feel comforted and safe when they need it, and help them to understand and deal with emotions and feelings.   The bears may also help children with transitions from home to school, as well as transitions during the school day.  

The bears often serve as helpers when children need to solve a problem, and they are also skilled at modeling routines and expectations, such as walking in a line!

Children were also able to take their bears to the drama area in the studio this week, taking turns preparing, serving and “eating” meals.  Eva asked, “Who wants to have a tea party?”

Children prepared a feast for their bears, and before eating they decided to say the prayer that we pray before meals at school so John led them: 

“Thank you for the world so sweet.

Thank you for the food we eat.

Thank you for the birds that sing.

Thank you God for everything!”

And then Maisie chimed out, “Let’s dig in!”

There has been lots of fun play in drama with bears!

There is so much extra joy in the room with the addition of these fuzzy friends! The children will continue to explore with their bears as the days go on! You might ask your child to tell you about what they did with their bear at school today! 

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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