The first month of school is always full of so much excitement and energy! Thanks to Mother Goose Time Curriculum (MGT), we are able to harness this energy and direct it into learning opportunities. Our unit this month is based on Family, Friends, and Emotions. The students are learning all about themselves as they enter a new environment and begin their social journey into a classroom with classmates. This can prove to be a challenge the first few weeks as they learn how to identify emotions, learn new coping skills and emotional management skills, and expand on their limited patience while learning turn-taking.
This particular day we began our emotion unit with HAPPINESS! And what better way to celebrate being happy than with a birthday party! MGT has begun a new focus this year on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). Each day of curriculum offers a STEAM station set up. Today's suggestion (we combined the emotions of happy and surprised for this day) was to present items to create a birthday party. We have a sensory table with bins where we set up our learning centers. Here we placed our Melissa and Doug wooden birthday cake with streamers, balloons, bows, and candles.
This simple set up seemed to be a magical invitation to our preschoolers who came together to build new friendships by hosting birthday parties for one another. They took turns blowing out the candles, singing "Happy Birthday" to one another, and gave gifts of ice cream and cookies from our dramatic play center from across the room. The children used their own creativity to gather additional items to complete their parties, including setting the dishes out. It was clear that they were already building strong social relationships by taking on roles and exploring their classroom community.
The best part was how they volunteered to help one another when one of them had a difficult time blowing up a balloon. A very cringe-worthy moment for us as teachers as we were too late to stop the germ sharing, but a proud one as we witnessed budding friendships.
"Miss Becky, Miss Becky! Look, I did it!" *Heart Melts*