At Fiddleheads this week we have continued talking about trees, and we have also turned our focus to recognizing and cultivating gratitude. We finished up last week by visiting a sequoia in the park and learning about the majestic sequoia, and by making carrot cinnamon bread. When making the bread we talked about the how some of the ingredients come from different plant parts, like cinnamon bark, ginger root and carrots roots. This week we focused on several Native American stories about gratitude, including the Potawatomi creation story about how Skywoman sang the earth into being through her gratitude at the sacrifice of the animals to help her, and we read and acted out the Passamaquoddy story "Thanks To The Animals", about an infant lost in the winter woods of Maine who is saved by wild woodland animals. We learned about the Israeli festival of Tu Bishvat, giving thanks for trees, and we practiced thanking our favorite climbing and playing and "sitting under" trees at the park. At lunch every day we have been eating together and singing our gratitude song, and we have been discussing various prompts about gratitude, for example thinking of things that we are grateful for in our homes, and recalling times that we did things for others that made them feel grateful. We will continue to talk about gratitude at mealtimes throughout the year, and I recommend continuing conversations about it at home. Gratitude is the mother of all virtues, as they say, and being able to find it, especially in moments of frustration and dissatisfaction, is a lifelong asset.
We've had some fun climbing on logs this week, seeing goldfinches, finding mushrooms, listening to crows, and watching them mob the hawk. We continue to check in with our feelings and with the forest every day. It's wonderful to see the children continue to improve in their ability to listen to each other and to the world around them.
Next week there is no school for thanksgiving break. We hope that you have a lovely break! When we get back after break we will segue our tree focus into talking about forests. The final week of school in December we will be talking about the solstice and the end of the solar year and preparing for our winter spiral of lights festival.
Thanks you everyone for being a part of our Fiddleheads community! I really appreciate it and am grateful for what we have here.
We had another lovely week this week talking about trees. There is a lot to consider about trees. This week we have focused on some of the things that we love about trees and our feelings about them. We also talked about how trees live in community and support each other and send messages and help to each other. We practiced sending a squeeze around in a circle like trees sending a message through a forest. We have been practicing tree pose at morning circle and singing tree, leaf and fruit songs. We have pressed pine chips in the sensory bin and we continue to enjoy jumping in our ever decomposing leaf pile. The trees keep dropping more so that we can replenish it though. We have been noticing more and more seasonal changes in the weather and the vegetation during our daily check in with the forest.
Next week we will be focusing on recognizing and cultivating gratitude as we lead up to Thanksgiving. PPS has the entire week of Thanksgiving off.
Enjoy the weekend!
We began our tree study unit this week. We've been talking about the annual changes in a tree and the life cycle of a tree, referring back to our study of leaves and the changing of seasons and seeds. We talked about the parts of a tree and scavenged materials and made a group sculpture of a tree including roots, bark, branches and leaves. We spent one day talking about roots, and we dug holes and buried our feet and calves in the dirt and felt how being rooted in the earth helps a tree balance and reach high. We did an activity called "meet a tree," where the children are blindfolded (those willing anyway), and get to know a tree by using their senses of touch and smell and by being quietly present and observant. We made bark rubbings. Tomorrow we will do a capillary action celery experiment with colored water, and make some ants on a log for snack.
We had a beautiful, chilly week at Fiddleheads. We continued our study of leaves. This weather is a bit harsh temperature wise, but it is a beautiful to have it so sunny and dry to enjoy talking about leaves. They are so crackly and crunchy to walk through and jump in and the colors against the blue sky are stunning. We read some more wonderful books about leaves. We pretended to be leaves emerging from buds, soaking up the summer sun, and changing color and falling off and blowing away in the fall. We made our bodies into trees and let our leaves fall away in the wind. We talked about how different trees make different shaped leaves, and tree identification. We made leaf rubbings. We dipped leaves in wax to extend the colors and hung them on little wires for decorations. We also had some larger discussions about seasons, leaves in the annual cycle of the tree, and why leaves turn colors and fall off at this time of year.
On Halloween some friends wore costumes with warm layers on over or under and we had a small lion, some superheros and cold weather fairies amongst us. We read some special Halloween stories and had a fruit gummy treat to enjoy or take home at the end of the day. At our body check in and sharing feelings time there was a very high level of self identified excitement, and I hope that everyone had a wonderful Halloween and is having a nice, restful recovery day.
We will continue our leaf unit into a tree unit starting next week. We plan to talk about the annual cycle and the larger life cycle of a tree, the parts of a tree, and tree communication. This is a natural progression of knowledge, drawing on our study of seeds, and our study of the leaves through the seasons.
Just as a reminder, we do go to the park every day no matter what the weather is like. The only reasons that we would not are air quality advisories, and very high winds (although the part of the park that we usually play in is thankfully quite protected from winds that can be intense in other higher areas.) When it stays in the 30s and/or is very rainy or snowy, we may spend less time outside and just head back to school earlier, but we will still play outside and we will still go to the park.