Blog

Consider your Audience (& each other)

Planning a Percy Jackson play & finding non-violent inspirations By Dawn Velez Since the beginning of the school year, the Kindergarteners found a fascination with monsters. I wanted to explore the idea of monsters in storytelling because it can be open to more than one interpretation possible by imagining a creature of your own rather [...]

A Sprout’s Story of Reconnection

By Amber Norman The Sprouts as a collective group, have a deep interest in repurposing discarded loose parts and turning them into toys, functional art, and so much more. Our name for repurposing these items is, “Magic Trash.” The Sprouts community are also deep thinkers and have so many thoughts to share on any subject [...]

We Are Oaks

By Vanessa Sanchez The children expressed their intention from them moment their Oak room journey started. They wanted to connect with each other and the community outside of Little Owl’s walls. This intention guided the throughout the year in many ways.  The children wanted to bring harvester ants into the classroom. They raised coins to [...]

Team Olive Room

By Jovanna Ledesma At the beginning of the year, being the new kindergarten teacher, I felt nervous. I was asked to be the “P.E.teacher” for the new Kindergarten class in the Olive Room. I was excited; I had many different plans for the children. I set out games for the children that had them separated [...]

four heARTbeats

By Vanessa Sanchez What is it about me that attracts children with big emotions? Is it the energy I put off? The necessity to understand their feelings. Maybe, I am just a sensitive person. I gain fulfillment in helping children acquire skills that will help them work through challenging situations that cause big feelings. This [...]

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Photographer

By Carroll Scott-McIntyre Earlier in the year I had introduced the Acorn room to photography. We used a Nikon camera and went out in front of Little Owl and took pictures. Each of them had taken around 30 pictures each just to get used to using a real camera. We revisited photography the last couple [...]

Squeeze the day…

By Alexis Masingill In November, the day after the election, I overheard a few Seedlings having a conversation about voting. The idea of only being able to choose one thing was interesting to hear them analyze. “You can only pick one?” Luke said with a sigh. “Yep, and then you get a sticker,” Will replied. [...]

Different and the Same: Mixing Our Skin Tones

By Bernadette Nicholas From early in the school year, skin tone has been a common topic of discussion in the Sprouts Room. Research shows that children notice physical differences, such as skin tone, starting from an early age. Not talking about it leaves children to make assumptions about why those differences exist, often basing their [...]

A Journey Towards Self: Self-Portraits

By Amber Norman “The tool of every self portrait is the mirror. You see yourself in it, turn it the other way and you see the world.” -Agnes Varda Look closely into the mirror, what do you see? Look closer, what else do you see? Look even closer…. Creating a self-portrait is very personal process. [...]

Acorn Acrylic Canvas

By Carroll Scott-McIntyre The month of February was our time to focus on Acrylic, one of the hundred languages. As I introduced the paint, we talked about the differences between this medium and others. We focused a lot on how this paint doesn't wash off as easily as others and how we have to use special [...]

Triangle Discussion

By Amber Norman At morning meeting today, before I even mentioned any use of the instruments for the book, “Abiyoyo,” Nya said, “I want to use the triangle.” Instruments are typically used by our Sprouts community to sing along with the song in the story. When I picked up the instrument basket, right away, Massimo [...]

“Don’t Eat the Potato Greens”

Experiencing a Community of Carers By Bernadette Nicholas Last week, we found animal poop. It happens from time to time when critters leave little surprises for us to find. So, I removed it, then sprayed the area with a disinfectant. I mentioned to the children present that they needed to avoid the area while the [...]

The Rock

By Vanessa Sanchez As the children applied their sunscreen, Bonnie noticed a rock in the middle of the sandpit and said, "Vanessa! There is a huge rock in the sand! That is not safe for us to play in. What if Cohen trips over it and falls?" The other children agreed with Bonnie. "We have [...]

A New Beginning

By Kelsie Castro A bird sitting in a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not in the branch, but in its wings.” - Unknown  A couple weeks ago as I walked out into the side yard next to our kindergarten classroom, a frantic voice caught my attention. Standing at the [...]

I Miss Them Part 2: Keep Our Notes Safe

By Vanessa Sanchez “We can make our own mailboxes!” exclaimed Grace. The Oak children made an agreement with each other to work together and build mailboxes for each classroom. Grace counted, “We need five mailboxes: Acorns, Seedlings, Oaks, Olives and, the Sprouts.” During morning meeting, the mailboxes were our main topic of discussion. Each child [...]

I Miss Them

By Vanessa Sanchez As the children started to slowly arrive for the first time back at Little Owl since the Stay at Home order was placed, they quickly took notice of the changes. Grace and Isabel wondered where the other Oak children were. They wondered who was coming back to Little Owl. Isabel said, “It’s [...]

A Place For Friends

By Bernadette Nicholas “What is the difference between a space and a place?” This was the first question with which I was confronted on a Saturday morning as I sat in a workshop discussing classroom design. It was a question to which I hadn’t given much thought previously, but in hearing the juxtaposition of “space” [...]

Nailed It… Part 2

By Alexis Masingill In the weeks following our real tools provocation, we experienced an explosion of interest in woodworking. The simple task of hammering nails into scrap wood, tree stumps, and other materails in and out of the classroom showed that there was a true investment in their time with these materials. I showed them [...]

Becoming A Teacher

By Kaileigh Reed I have been letting my mind wander during these quarantine days. My wanderings have led me to ponder this question:  What is a teacher? Or, more accurately, who is a teacher? Right away, some adjectives flood my mind like, kind, patient, emphatic, flexible, versatile. But is a teacher just a list of [...]

What Really Matters?

By Kelsie Castro "Our emotions need to be as educated as our intellect. It is important to know how to feel, how to respond, and how to let life in so that it can touch you."- Jim Rohn It's no secret that the end of this school year looks vastly different than what many of us [...]

Not on Her Watch: Fostering a Leader’s Heart

By Bernadette Nicholas On a sunny afternoon, shortly before our winter break, I walked over to Azelie as she worked near the rosemary bushes, curious about what she was working on. I wondered about the small piles of sand I saw, on top of which Azelie was carefully arranging pieces of rosemary she had picked [...]

My Thought On Clay

By Darryl Redick When working with young children, I wanted to help them appreciate and use their resources to communicate with the world. Their resources are their hands, feet, eyes, and voice. I wanted them to be able to use materials to express what is inside their hearts and minds; I wanted them to strive [...]

Community Is…

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” - Henry Ford By Kelsie Castro A few months ago in the Olive room we asked our group of children what they thought community meant. At first there was silence as the children looked around at each other. This was a big [...]

Nailed It!

By Alexis Masingill Harry could often be found walking around the classroom carrying a large unit block and making motor sounds. I would ask him, “What are you doing?” He would reply with a shrug. But one day, he looked at me and said, “It’s a chainsaw.” The Seedling teachers discussed the need for a [...]

Kindergarten Wellness Guides

By Amber Norman One of my most influential teachers in life once told me, “If you want to know the depths of something, teach it.” This piece of advice has stuck with me since. One of the ultimate goals I have created while working with children in the Wellness program, is to eventually invite them [...]

How Do You See Yourself?

By Vanessa Sanchez During planned possibilities, I observed a child in our art studio, expressing his feelings to Rebecca. He was reflecting on his behavior from the past year. He mentioned how that has affected his friendships at the beginning of this school year. The more I listened to him and watched his facial expressions, [...]

Creating Theater

By Rebecca Sadler Watching children in dramatic play as an educator is one of my favorite ways to understand and learn from children. When I observe, I'm trying to notice: What roles do they choose? How do they use their imagination? What emotions come up? Most importantly, what do these stories tell me about who [...]

Weathering The Storm

By Kelsie Castro “And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” - Gilbert K. Chesterton I stood at the top of the lookout watching as the sprinkling of rain we had been playing in started to become a shower. What we thought would [...]

An Apple a Day, Keeps the Child Engaged, and Develops A Community

By Alexis Masingill One day during snack, a few children were commenting that they really like apples, but the ones that were being served to them were too sour. I asked them what kind of apples they wanted. One group said, "the red ones." Another group replied they liked sweet ones. Then I inquired if [...]

The Gift of a Child

By Kaileigh Reed As we gathered around the lunch table, I noticed something take place regularly. The teachers would notion Cameran to pour herself milk. She looked up with her blank stare and tears in her eyes, repeating, “I need my mom.” In some moments, tears were her only response. As the children around Cameran [...]

The Struggle Is Real

By Carroll Scott-McIntyre This year was our first year at Little Owl, where there was a classroom of only 2 ½- 3-year-old children. I was so excited to work with this age group again; It had been a few years. At our in-service week, our Acorn classroom discussed in detail our expectations and intention for [...]

A Fine Line Between Art and Math

By Kelsie Castro “Lines really are in everything.” – Lillian, Age 5 “Every true artist has been inspired more by the beauty of lines and color and the relationships between them than by the concrete subject of the picture.” - Piet Mondrian Last year, one of our children’s biggest interests was drawing. They would use [...]

Discovering Art Through Community Collaboration

By Carroll Scott-McIntyre Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.- Pablo Picasso One of my favorite forms of artistic expression is a collage. Through my first few years at Little Owl, it has been my favorite thing to do with the children. This year, being [...]

A Natural Path to Learning

By Kelsie Castro “Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning.” - Bruce Lee Sitting in the backyard after lunch, I was intrigued by a voice that called to me from inside our tunnel.  “Hey, Kelsie! We are going to collect berries and count them!”  Looking over, I noticed [...]

“It’s a cycle”

By Shannon Weaver When Hazel added that phrase in conversation to our provocation, it was a ta-dah moment! “Yes, exactly!” All the children in the small group nodded, Jonathan added, “It’s called a life cycle.” Once again, “YES!” This fall, when the children returned to school, our sunflower plants had finished growing. The yellow petals [...]

Wellness

By Amber Norman As the Fall program at Little Owl is settling in, the children have been joining me for our first yoga and wellness groups. The Wellness program is in its beginning stages, and already I’m seeing the benefits and excitement from the children over it. The Wellness program offers yoga, meditation, dance, movement, [...]

Handle with Care

By Bernadette Nicholas At the beginning of our morning, a group of children were playing a game with the dinosaurs outside. Each child held a dinosaur in their hand as they ran away from one child who was holding a pterosaur. They ran back and forth along the side yard and ended in boxes as [...]