May 2016 SFF Newsletter

Posted On May 12 2016 | BY School for Friends

Director’s Report

EXPANSION/CONSTRUCTION UPDATE – We received our building permit on April 12 and work is progressing on the new and renovated bathrooms that we will use while relocated in the Fellowship Hall. More information will follow regarding the move date.

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STAFF NEWS 

  • Cyana Chamberlain, Makai Kellogg, & Sabina Zeffler attended the White Privilege Conference in Philadelphia April 15-17.  At the end of this newsletter is a list of workshops they attended.  This conference greatly supports our Anti-Bias work.
  • April 18 & 19 Staci Bauer & Jackie Whiting attended the Early Childhood Peer Network of Friends Council on Education in Moorestown, NJ.
  • On April 8, Staci visited and observed at Sleepy Hollow Preschool in Annandale, VA.

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THANK YOUS – – To all the room parents for planning great (and tasty) Cultural Heritage Dinners – Emilie Cassou, Sky Sitney, Julia Gallu, & Jennifer Adams.

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MOSQUITOES – Each year we have a contract with Mosquito Squad to spray for mosquitoes on the playground twice a month.  They use garlic spray rather than pesticide.  Apparently mosquitoes don’t like garlic.  Anyone allergic to garlic?

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Quaker House Newsletter

Hello QH Families,

A meaningful conversation is a genuine two way interaction, an exchange of ideas that involve careful listening, appropriate responses and balanced contributions. When adults have such authentic conversations with children, the children are given a chance to do their own thinking, to create their own solutions to problems and to express their own ideas.

During the day, it can be challenging to find the time to have authentic conversations. Involving children in the home and at school in everyday tasks such as watering the plants and setting up the table for a meal not only strengthens language skills but strengthens the bond between the child and the adult.

When meaningful conversations occur, some forethought has gone into making sure that the conversation can sustain the child’s attention. Teachers use open ended questions (these questions require more than a yes or a no) and comments that extend or scaffold a child’s thinking and involvement. Some examples of open ended questions would include: “”Is there another way to…”, “Why do you think that happened?” and “What did it feel like when…?””

When there is a child who has difficulties responding to questions or engaging in back and forth conversations immediately, teachers use ‘mapping’ as a tool to help. Instead of continuing to ask questions, the teacher describes in details what they are doing at an activity next to or close by the child. Gaining a child’s interest in an interactive experience by attracting their attention using mapping and actions – ‘Oh Timmy, look at what I have found on my hand, a tiny, tiny praying mantis! Can you see it crawling up my arm?’

‘Teachable moments’, in moderation, are important but not if they come at the expense of genuine, two-way conversations. They help children to develop the communication skills for active participation in their communities and for life-long learning.

Thank you,

QH Teachers

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Rainbow Room Newsletter

As nature is going through its transformations and changes, so is School for Friends.  As the Rainbow Room teachers prepare parent-teacher conferences, documentation, assessments, and previous conferences are taken into account. It is exciting to see how the children have progressed and grown throughout the school year.  The conversations have expanded, the play has evolved, and executive functioning is apparent.

The school itself will be changing as well.  The Rainbows are preparing for this big transition. Children use play to make sense of the world. In order to assist with their understanding of what is happening, we are studying construction and the process of moving.  Props such as tools, aprons, trucks, and cones are available for the children to explore. Books and information on various aspects of construction can be accessed in the classroom.  Right before the move, the children will help pack up the classroom by choosing items to place in a shoebox that will be unpacked once settled downstairs.  It is crucial that the children are active participants, help with planning and are given as much information as possible to ensure a smoother transition.  Children flourish on familiarity and routine so they will need a lot of support during this big change.  The Rainbow Room team looks forward to the future of the school, the learning opportunities we will encounter, and the partnership with families during the move and throughout the summer.

Reminders:

-Please check the extra clothes cubby and make sure there are two sets of seasonal clothing 

-LABEL ALL ITEMS! 

-Rainy season is here, so please make sure there is a rain coat and rain boots at school for outdoor play 

 Thanks,

Rainbow Room Team

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Green Room Newsletter

Explore Your & Our Community

Children learn from exploring the world around them. Visiting shops, restaurants, and other businesses in your neighborhood can help your child understand how things work and what people do. It can also be a great way to meet neighbors. Try these suggestions to turn small errands into learning opportunities.

Museum or Art Gallery              

Talk: Discuss with your child the different colors, shapes, materials, and textures in art.

Do: Provide paper and crayons for your child to make a drawing inspired by the artwork after the visit.

Post Office

Talk: Encourage your child to ask a postal worker about stamps or how mail is transported.

Do: Help your child write or decorate a letter.

Park

Talk: Ask your child to find the smallest and largest objects in the park.

Do: Go on a scavenger hunt with your child to find natural items, such as acorns, sticks, or dried leaves.

Grocery Store

Talk: Review with your child which foods grow in the ground and which grow on trees.

Do: Put your child in change of the shopping list. Together find what you need and cross the items off the list.

In the up–coming months green room will be exploring our community. Taking walks in the neighborhood, snack at bagel store, local metro market grocery store, lunch outside, Rose Park, Mitchell Park, book store, etc.

Reference: Teaching Young Children NAEYC.org December 2014/ January 2015 Vol.8, No 2 TYC.

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Blue Room Newsletter

The first part of construction has now started at SfF and the children are very excited about it. Each day we hear noises, see things being thrown into the dumpster and see construction workers around. With all that is going on, the children are very curious. We are using this time as a teachable moment and to foster their curiosity. When we hear noises we engage in conversations about what the noises can be. These conversations span from basic responses like construction work all the way to what they might be doing and what tools they may be using in order to perform the task.

We did a two week construction theme in the classroom which included going on a construction walk to observe active construction sites as well as meeting Steve, the project manager for the construction going on right here in our own school! Now when the children see him they say hi to him. Throughout our construction unit the children built their own city on a large piece of wood. They worked together to make different parts of a city and built off of each other’s ideas. They also had the opportunity to use a power drill to drill into wood and bricks as well as screwdrivers, wrenches, measuring tapes, hammers with nails and many other tools. Allowing them to use real tools gave them more of a hands-on learning experience.

Even though the children are very excited about all that is happening, this can also be a difficult time for them. There will be a lot of changes, and it may be difficult for some of the children to transition into the new space. We have been talking with the children daily about what is happening and what will be happening. They are able to talk about and recall what is currently happening in the gross motor room and they also know that once the work is done there, we will then be moving all of the classrooms there. At that point the construction will be happening in our classrooms. Talking about this daily will help the children to remember and understand more when the time comes for the changes to happen.

When it is time to move the children are going to play a role in helping to pack up the classroom. Each child will have their own box to put items in that are important to them to take with us. We ask that each family bring in a shoe box that their child can pack items in. Once we are in the gross motor room they will then unpack their boxes and put the items that are important to them in the temporary space. We are very excited about what is happening, as well as the children.

Important Dates:

May 2nd – Adrian’s Birthday

May 16th – 20th – Cyana is on vacation

May 20th – Cupcake’s Birthday

May 25th – June 3rd – Elizabeth is on vacation

May 28th – Ella’s Birthday

May 30th – No school

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The 17th Annual White Privilege Conference

Let Freedom Ring, Re-imagining equity & justice in the US

Workshops attended by Cyana Chamberlain:

“Exploring White Privilege” Facilitators: Bob Amico and Gaston Dembele

“I know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Empowering Women of Color” Facilitators: Vernã Myers and Ritu Bhasin

“Talking About Race and Racial Privilege: Re-Imagining Discussions on Difficult Topics” Facilitators: Robin Parker and Toi-sing Woo

“How mass media perpetuate systems of power, privilege and oppression and how a media literate population is the first step toward change” Facilitators: Erin McNeill and LaTierra Piphus

“What Happened to My hood? White Supremacy, Gentrification and Displacement in Philadelphia” Facilitators: Michael Pommells and Reagan Price

“The Unwritten Rules of Success in U.S. Culture and the Connection to Power & Privilege” Facilitator: Tiffany Taylor Smith

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Workshops attended by Makai Kellogg:

“Everyone Should Be A Part of the Conversation: Creating Racial Affinity Groups in Schools” Facilitators: Elizabeth Denevi and Mari Richards

“Native Music 101” Facilitators: Denis Zotigh (Kiowa, Sanitee Dakota and Ohkay Owin Pueblo) and Ralph Zotigh (Kiowa)

“Teachers as Activists and Activists as Teachers: Dismantling white supremacy, privilege and oppression in the classroom” Facilitators: Shemariah J. Arki and Alice Ragland

“Global White Privilege, Contemporary Middle East Politics, and Peace & Justice in the United States” Facilitator: Adrien Wing

“Transracial Adoptees: White Privilege and Oppressed” Facilitator: Timothy Fukushima

“Oppositional Messaging: How to Marginalize your Opponents while Uplifting your Values” Facilitators: Lindsay Schubiner and Alia Abiade

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Workshops attended by Sabina Zeffler:

“Understanding the Role of Patriarchy in Supporting White Supremacy” Facilitators: Natalie J. Thoreson and Khalid Smith

“Deconstructing Dominant Culture or How to Work Effectively with White People” Facilitator: Shakti Butler

“RE-Imagining and Transforming Your Race Story” Facilitators: Susan Naimark and David Hunt

“Understanding White Privilege through Dialogue: An invitation to connect” Facilitator: Hsiao-wen Lo

“Using Meditation to Deconstruct Race and Racism” Facilitator: Kara Dansky

“Active Listening: An Everyday Tool for Fighting White Supremacy” Facilitator: Pippi Kesler

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