Learning About Our Hearts, Bodies, and Minds Alongside Our Pre-K Kiddos
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The benefits of kicking off the school year with a Student Well-Being focus
All TEA students learn about their hearts, bodies, and minds from different angles with larger overlapping concepts. Collectively we are all learning about self-love, self care, differing personalities, and how to identify and manage emotions.
As with all of our projects at TEA, our learning projects are anchored by guiding questions. Here’s an overview of the guiding questions our Pre-K kiddos often grapple with as they kick off their school year:
How can I be kind? What are forms of verbal communication? How do people communicate non verbally? How can I feel safe, happy and confident? What makes me unique? How can I form and keep strong friendships? How can I be resilient? How can I honor myself now? What are the many emotions that I and others experience? What tools are in my self care tool kit?
Our younger students explore these concepts through dynamic play, creative expression (eg. dance, art, drama, music), animals, and nature. They also learn about the mind-body-heart connection through hands-on science and STEAM activities that teach about body systems, providing countless opportunities for fun. Finally, students will use their emerging writing skills to reflect and understand themselves and others.
What’s that look like in practice? Well here are a few excerpts some from the weekly communications our Pre-K Director (Miss Stephanie) sends out to our parents.
“During Crew time this week, we began our Kindness Curriculum. We learned how to pay attention to the inside and the outside of our bodies (or how to be MINDFUL) and did a lot of breath work. We planted real seeds and made a Kindness Garden where students can draw seeds for acts of kindness.”
“On Monday we went to the East entrance of the Legacy trail for a “listening walk” and to hike and explore! We listened to the river, heard birds chirp, and felt the roaring trains, planes and cars zoom by. During this walk we practiced finding our quiet place on the inside even when it's loud on the outside. Adding to our Kindness Curriculum, we began our Kimochis lessons this week! Your children met Lovey Dove and her adopted baby Turtle Dove. Lovey teaches us about the feelings friendly, proud and kind. Her motto is “friendly faces make friendly faces!"
“Our adventure day was spectacular today. Joining Mount Rose Crew (Kindergarten) on a Mount Rose hike was the perfect start to our week. We discussed how and why exercise is important for keeping our bodies healthy and how sometimes we have to keep going even when it's hard (perseverance). We also had not only one, but TWO experts this week! Sound bowl healing AND yoga! How lucky are we! Through these experts we learned how to help keep our minds and bodies healthy!
Fitting for fall, we tried different types of apples, made a graph of our favorites, and talked about sharing and fairness. Once we were done splitting the apples we used them to make fractions posters and dissected them to count the seeds. We also met a new Kimochi’s character- Huggtopus. Hugs teaches us about the feelings silly, frustrated, excited, and proud. She is our Kimochi character who is strong and affectionate, but she sometimes gets a little carried away with her big, friendly personality. With Huggtopus, your childis learning how to read social cues, such as facial expressions, body language, and sounds from peers. Huggtopus also teaches children how to celebrate our differences. Hugs is a 6 legged octopus and is proud that she is unique!”
“Our trip to Shirley Canyon was full of adventure. The hike began with us climbing a steep hill to the trail head. Once we arrived at the trailhead (about three min in) most of us were ready for our first water break and rest. Some of us couldn’t fathom going on any further. We had a pep talk and decided as a crew to push through… after that there was no looking back! Together we hiked to just below where the first set of waterfalls began and had a picnic lunch. After lunch we climbed rocks, made snowmen and of course had snowball fights. I was very impressed with how resilient we all were on our very first snow outing. Spending 4 hours outside playing in the snow with no complaints or wanting to “go back to the bus” is the sign of a good day! A HUGE THANK YOU to all of our wonderful parents for sending your kiddos to school prepared for success. I appreciate each and every one of you.”