BC: Made With Love by the Mourning Dove Educators: Diana, Kelly, Kimber and Krystle Google Children's Centers @ The Wetlands
FC: Mourning Dove Classroom Community Book 2012-2013
1: The Mourning Dove children began this school year as the newest (and youngest!) members of the Wetlands' community. Much of their first few months here were spent primarily within the walls of our classroom, learning about themselves, their closest peers, and their teachers. Acknowledging the importance of social experiences, we embraced this time to focus on supporting their relationship development. | The Founding Relationships of Mourning Dove
2: Relationship to Peers
3: From the very beginning of the year, we noticed how positively the children responded to being placed together. Actions like soft touches, glances into each others' eyes, and smiles all demonstrate how the relationships between the children began.
7: As the year progressed, so too did the children's relationships. Initial connections served as a foundation for future interactions, where the children began to seek one another out, and worked to develop shared play interests.
8: The children will be entering Starry Flounder having formed lasting, meaningful friendships. We have proudly witnessed how these relationships have blossomed in response to the children's growing means of communication, both verbal and non-verbal expression, and physical skills.
10: Relationships to Families | "Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring." -Pamela Dugdale | The integration of the children's families and home lives was an important component in building the culture of our classroom. Blending these different perspectives together created a rich, exciting space that consistently offered us all learning opportunities, and also encouraged the establishment of strong relationships. We were fortunate to have many siblings here at the Wetlands, and parents and grandparents who often visited.
12: Flora, Leah's Poi Poi | Nana and Jack, Nick's Grandma and Brother | Mimi, Paxton's Grandma | Janet, Daria's Grandma | Visits From Grandparents
13: We loved when family members had an opportunity to visit!
14: Relationship to the Wetlands' Community
15: Walks in the Wetlands Listening to the different sounds of the wetlands, watching the aviary wildlife and feeling the wind on our faces were many of the ways we experienced the Baylands early in the year while in strollers, Ergos, and Bjorns.
16: Let's Explore June 2013 This is our first walk where we got out of the strollers to explore the wetlands path. Along with investigating the vegetation life, we were able to interact with our elder neighbors from Golden Castle.
17: The Dock July 2013 Finally reaching the dock to explore was exciting. The feel of the old wooden boards under our feet, watching the birds eat and drink in the water, and seeing our friends from other classrooms are ways that we appreciated the new outdoor environment.
18: Relationships with Educators | Diana | Lucia | Kelly | Carolyn | Christina | And Other Classrooms
19: Diana | Latha | Catherine | Kimber | Holly
20: Jill | Krystle | Kelly | Kimber | Mega | Eleanor | Addison
21: Alli | Callie | Holly | Michelle and Elise | "Hold onto a true friend with both hands." -Anonymous
22: Relationship to Materials Learning for every individual is a unique and ongoing process that begins at birth. Early exposure to different materials capitalizes on children's innate curiosity, and affords them with a chance to form confident relationships with these mediums. Strong foundational learning encourages positive future exploration, expression, and communication.
24: Metal was a material that was readily available in the beginning of the year. We watched the children in their first few months of school utilize these objects. They built fine motor coordination as they explored the feel of the different textures, and the various sounds produced when the objects clanged together. Gross motor muscles were strengthened as they pushed with their feet to obtain objects placed slightly out of reach.
27: The interest in paper began when packaging materials unintentionally found their way into our classroom. The children were instantly drawn to them and enjoyed investigating them in different ways. We continued this learning experience by offering various types and textures of paper throughout the year.
28: Tape Tape was offered as an extension of paper, and the children truly took to it. They worked at peeling it off, investigating the sticky part, and re-sticking the tape to other surfaces. By presenting the tape in various forms--on the mirror, the back of mylar, foam core, and the table--we provided ample space for exploration.
29: CLAY | Clay is a complex material that offers very young children opportunities for physical exploration as they uncover it's properties. Clay invites children to explore their strength and the effects that their own actions have as they become visible on it's surface.
30: First Experiences with Clay Our first experience with clay included a large block placed in the middle of the classroom ready for the children to explore. The approaches to the clay were different for each child: patting the clay with excitement, picking tiny pieces off with their fingers, or investigating the clay with their toes. Imagine, this is the first of hundreds of clay experiences that this group will have over their lives at the Google Children's Centers!
31: Clay with the RLF Children During a visit from Red Legged Frog, the MD children started to develop an interest in jointly playing with the clay. Throughout the next few clay experiences, this interactive, reciprocal play was demonstrated as pieces were passed back and forth, the large block was patted in unison, and laughter rang out as they giggled and made eye contact with one another.
32: Coil Making: Learning from Siblings We have seen the children's skills of working with clay develop over time. In the beginning, they mostly explored clay on their own, but as the year has progressed, we saw the children looking to, and learning from, their older peers as well. On this day, Emma, Leah's sister, came in to work on clay with us. Leah and Daria watched carefully as Emma showed us how she "rolled coils." After, Leah and Daria were able to imitate the "rolling" motion as they pushed the clay to create their own coils!
33: Mark Making | Pens
34: We have seen a great interest in mark making since the children were very young. Whenever we wrote in their journals, many of the children would notice and crawl over, often times reaching for the pens in our hands. As the children have more and more exposure to mark making, we see their interests change from exploring the pens to actually using the tools to make marks on the paper.
35: Throughout the year we tried to expose the children to many different experiences and it was through those that we begin to see the different interests of the children come out. Mark making is definitely one of those strong interests and we will continue to provide different mark making experiences for them through this year and into next year as well.
37: Mark Making | Painting
38: Watercolor May 2013 The brush was a key part in this exploration for Lukas and Daria, who noticed the tiny bristles almost immediately through touch. Nick, Cameron and Leah were instantly attracted to the colored water and practiced dipping their brush into the paint. Paxton, Daria and Leah noticed that they had made marks on their paper with paint-laden brushes, touching the marks with their fingers.
42: Painting with Snowy Plover | The first ongoing project we tackled in Mourning Dove was a collaborative painting effort with Snowy Plover. Since the beginning of the year, our infants and their toddlers have sought friendship in one another. Both groups of children also demonstrated a strong appreciation of painting. It seemed obvious to explore this medium as an avenue of collaboration. At first, most of the small group time was focused solely on individual exploration of the paint and materials. As we continued meeting, the dynamic changed and the toddlers began mentoring the infants how they could work together.
47: Relationship to Food | From the first time drinking a bottle in our classroom, to the last tip of their plate as they place it in the bin, the evolution of eating in Mourning Dove has been quite the experience. Throughout each of these moments, we embraced the emotional connections formed, and strove to develop a sense of community as they expressed their independence and growing capabilities, and discovered the wonders of eating!
48: From bottles to...
49: ...jars to...
50: ...table food to...
51: ...family style meals!
52: Relationship to Birthdays Each classroom cultivates their own birthday culture. As a group, the Mourning Dove families and educators chose to celebrate each child's first birthday by inviting families to think of a special treat, either brought in from home or found here at school, and to celebrate by enjoying the treat together with the family and classroom. 2012-2013 Mourning Dove Tradition Since the children have been investigating clay throughout the year, we had each child, on their first birthday, design and interact with their own slab of clay. We plan on getting the birthday slabs glazed and fired so that they can each take home their first clay piece.
53: Happy 1st Birthday, Leah! | 3.2.13
54: Happy 1st Birthday, Nicholas! | 5.6.13
55: Happy 1st Birthday, Paxton! | 6.8.13
56: Happy 1st Birthday, Daria! | 6.25.13
57: Happy 1st Birthday, Armandito! | 6.25.13
58: Happy 1st Birthday, Lukas! | 7.18.13
59: Happy 1st Birthday, Cameron! | 7.30.13