Sunday, November 25, 2012

Transitioning into the Classroom

Recently, WG joined our classroom. In fact, last week was his first week! When a new child transitions into the classroom, it can be a change for all of us. The children look to me and the space to remind themselves that they are safe, their needs will be met, and they will be free to explore. The rest of Cohort 5 and myself worked hard to help WG transition while maintaining safety and consistency for the rest of the children. We kept to our routine and focused on a lot of free play throughout the morning to give WG time to get to know both IS and QM who were there that day. QM and I spent a significant amount of time building towers out of blocks and knocking them over. Later IS and WG  worked to build their own towers on our long shelf.

Later in the day we did a paint project with yellow paint and green tape. Though WG was not quite ready to join us in our painting, he watched on from a distance. QM worked with IS and me for a little while before moving off to join WG in observing. After painting with the tape for a while, IS and I used wet cloths to wash the paint off most of the canvas. Both IS and I enjoy doing this from time to time as it is very rigorous and gets a lot of energy out! WG found this much more interesting than our calm painting and moved closer to watch us. 

Later when WG was feeling a little sad, Amy offered some help. She showed WG that IS had a belly button- just like him! This observation of IS having something in common with WG really excited WG. He laughed and walked closer to IS to point to IS' belly button himself. IS was also filled with joy over their discovery! JK also joined in and lifted his shirt to show both boys his own belly button. There is something very comforting about noticing what we have in common. WG and IS worked to see what other body parts they had in common- ears! hair! noses! It was quite an afternoon of discovery.

By the end of the week, WG was initiating play with QM and IS both. Our concentration on maintaining consistency during the transition helped WG feel safe to play and interact with us as well as encouraged QM and IS to allow and accept WG's participation in their play. From the latch board to more tower building to building with train tracks, WG, IS, and QM all three encouraged participation from their peers and enjoyed interacting with one another.

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