The Children's School at Stephens College

Because big dreams start early.

Human Body and Healthy Habits

This week in Wonderland, students continued to learn about the human body and healthy habits. They started the week off talking about the five food groups and “MyPlate” from the USDA. Students sorted food they like to eat on their “MyPlate” but could only include one dairy, one fruit, one protein, two grains, and two vegetables. From here, students listened to The Very Hungry Caterpillar, tried some different fruits and vegetables and graphed how many of us liked each one.

We even got to paint with the extra vegetables!

To end the week, we learned about what foods are good and bad for our teeth and the importance of brushing our teeth by trying to brush the soda color off an egg.

Human Body and Chinese New Year

This week we continued our exploration of the human body through activities that focused on movement and nutrition. One way we celebrated the Chinese New Year was by creating lanterns.  The children also made their own lion costume and worked together to dance with it during music and movement. During work time, students have been working together to accomplish tasks through communicating kindly and overcoming problems together.

Body Measurements

In preschool, we have been exploring the human body. In literacy, students have been learning about the skeletal system. They built skeleton puppets and drew the bones in their bodies. In math, they traced their bodies and used their feet to measure how tall they were.  After measuring, students graphed their heights.

In a different lesson, students were introduced to three different tasks.  They measured how heavy their bodies are (weight), how far they could jump (length measured by student footsteps), and discovered how fast they could finish an obstacle course (time). Together, we then recorded our measurements and will discuss and compare our results this week.

This Week in Honalee and Roxaboxen

This week students learned about their skeletal system and the purpose
it serves. We read non-fiction, children’s books about our skeletal system and body to
support discussions we were having about how our body moves. Then,
students created their own skeleton picture.

In a different activity, students measured how far
they could do a leap frog hop and noticed similarities and differences
among the varying lengths.

We read books about nutrition and sorted foods by healthy and unhealthy. We discussed how healthy foods help us grow and unhealthy foods should be eaten in moderation.

Students continued to interact with the hospital and restaurant during work time
and literacy elements were facilitated by teachers through play.


Impact & Intent

As we dive deeper into our study of The Civil Rights Movement, we thought we would take some time to talk about terminology. We believe that it is important for students to understand how the terms and labels society has created for different races may not always be respectful of that culture. As a class, we discussed the idea of impact versus intent. Just because you do not intend for something to be offensive or hurtful, doesn’t mean it won’t be taken that way. After a discussion of impact versus intent, students were given terms, both good and bad, used to address or identify a person of color. The students then sorted them according to if they thought they were appropriate or offensive. Afterwards, as a group, we discussed each term and explained why they were either good or bad terms. We then presented the students with a impact vs. intent stoplight where appropriate terms were placed in the green as “go” words and offensive terms were placed in the red as “stop” words. The yellow is for when students are unsure. In the event that they are unsure, we encourage them to slow down, ask questions, and really think about their words and their impact. We collaborated to create a Civil Rights Movement chant highlighting respectful terminology and how their impact is more important than their intent.

“What do we use? Go words!

When do we use them? Now!

What do we use? Go words!

Okay class show us how.

African-American and minority are two in the green,

Yellow, ask a question,

But red is just plain mean.

Civil Rights! Empowerment!

Civil Rights’ Empowerment!”

Musical Harlem

As we continue to “bridge the gap” between The Civil War and The Civil Rights Movement, students are exploring the special role music played in the growth and culture of African Americans. We listened to clips of jazz music and talked about how the music made us feel. We noticed that when listening to Duke Ellington’s Black and Tan Fantasie that we felt both happy and sad at the same time. Similar to the continued challenges that African Americans faced after The Civil War, jazz music helps to embody the joyous feeling of winning the war and the sad feeling of not fully being free. Students explored jazz instruments, musical terminology and will continue to learn how African Americans brought with them to America a tradition of using music to accompany and define activities of their lives.

From Civil War to Civil Rights

Last semester, students learned about the Civil War and how the Emancipation Proclamation granted freedom to slaves in the American South in 1865. Before we begin our study on the Civil Rights Movement later this month, students are “bridging the gap” from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement by asking what happened to people of color after the Emancipation Proclamation and before the start of the Civil Rights Movement in 1955.

We built a physical bridge to help “bridge the gap” and investigated the events in the book The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights.thebeatitudes-229x300

In small groups, students researched one page of the book and created a tableau, news report, or song to present the facts and emotions about their person/event. Then, as a class, we put the events in order and read the book to bring all the pieces together. It was a powerful lesson that really helped students grasp the fullness of the story and timeline of people of color in our country.

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Matunda Ya Kwanzaa

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Our three day study of Kwanzaa was filled with questions, unity, songs and pie. We began our study with a song, Matunda Ya Kwanzaa, that helped us to understand the seven principles of Kwanzaa and what they mean. We also learned how to introduce ourselves in Swahili. Seven is an important number within the Kwanzaa celebration, so we read a story about seven brothers who had to work together to turn thread into gold. Through the story, we learned that weaving is an important African tradition and we did some of our own weaving. Our study ended with meditation and a feast. The meditation consisted of answering three questions: Who am I?, Am I who I say that I am?, and Am I all that I ought to be? After our meditation, we took part in a feast of homemade sweet potato pie; a family recipe. We sat together as a family in unity, which is what Kwanzaa is all about.

Holidays Around the World: Hanukkah

This week in our inquiry study about holidays and celebrations around the world, students focused on Hanukkah. We discussed the importance of knowing about other people’s cultures and traditions even when we do not share their beliefs. Students shared prior knowledge and questions they had about Hanukkah, then went off to research the traditions and backstory of the holiday. Together, we made dreidels, learned how to play the dreidel game, and learned to sing and dance to “O Hanukkah, O Hanukkah.”
We read Patricia Polacco’s “The Trees of the Dancing Goats,” a story about a Jewish family who cares for their sick neighbors by bringing them Christmas trees decorated with dancing goat ornaments they made for Hanukkah. Later the neighbors bring them a menorah to thank them and then they eat latkes together. Our class celebrated the heart of the story by creating dancing goats to hang on our book tree and cooking (and eating!) gluten-free latkes.

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