The primary mission of the Great Green Room is to help children develop social and emotional skills, creating a strong foundation from which to navigate their relationships with themselves and those around them. We offer a lot of free-play time. Free-play offers not only space for creativity, imagination and cooperation, but also conflict. When conflicts naturally arise, teachers are there to help the children constructively address the conflict and work to resolve it. We use Committee for Children’s social and emotional learning curriculum called Second Step to provide us with the tools to manage our own emotions and social interactions. We do Second Step lessons at circle time along with singing, stories and changing the calendar.
Much of our structure comes in the rhythm of our day, which includes learning self-care and care for our community. We follow the same schedule so the children know what to expect. Every transition time is preceded by a “clean-up time” where we work together to put away the toys we’ve played with and clean our school. We have 2 meals in our time together: snack and lunch. The children set the table for our meals and they serve themselves, family style. The kids learn to pour their own water and serve themselves food, while ensuring there is enough left for their neighbor. The kids do dishes after lunch to help with the clean-up process.
Each week we have an art class with Sarah, our fantastic art teacher. Sarah’s classes focus on creating art through sensory exploration. The end product is not as important as the process the kids hands, eyes, nose and ears experienced while creating the artwork.
Our amazing music teacher May comes once a week for a different source of sensory exploration. May does a musical story time that lays the foundation of rhythm and allows the kids to join in the joy of dancing and making music!
Outdoor time is an important part of our day, rain or shine. The kids learn to get themselves ready for outdoor time after a trip to the bathroom. They put on weather appropriate clothing and head outside for playtime in our yard or we may take a walk around the neighborhood or to Seward Park! When outside time is over the kids put away their outdoor gear and wash their hands so they are ready for our next activity.
Each month we head out of our classroom for an adventure! Whether it’s a bus ride to the library or a trip to the pumpkin patch, these trips give the children the opportunity to interact with the world outside our classroom.