November was a fast, albeit, busy and rewarding month. The Pigeon Plums showed the school community our gratitude with ribbons and Harvest Shares. It was so lovely to see the Toddler community come together to host a (record breaking!) bake sale and add their reasons of thankfulness to ribbons for our gratitude tree. In the classroom the children have been hard at work in the art area using a graphite stick, painting at the easel, and working to cut paper strips with scissors. We have learned a new song this month, The Orange Song, about peeling different fruits and vegetables. And a new favorite book we have been reading is Bear Sees Colors.
‘I offer you peace, I offer you love, I offer you friendship’. These are the beginning statements in our Ghandi’s Prayer for Peace. What a novel concept?! Offering peace, love, and friendship. Who doesn’t want to receive all of those things? And when receiving them, you often want to give them in return. Part of what and how we teach our toddlers is peaceful education. It is important for them to see what it means to be peaceful and loving and a friend. As teachers we model this and hope that by seeing, your children will start doing. We include two messages of peace in our daily routine, our Peace Candle and Ghandi’s Prayer for Peace. Even if it has been a hectic morning, cups have broken, paint has been painted on the floor, and we’ve had so many water spills we emptied our entire drawer of dry cloths, these are two moments that we make sure to take deep breaths, bring the crazy back down, and show the children how much we care for them through these small acts of offering peace.
Each day we one of our special “peaceful moments” is singing Candle for Peace. It is such a special moment in our day. When we sing and pass the candle the children can literally see peace (represented by the votive) being offered and accepted. By ‘seeing’ peace, they are able to better understand the concept of what it means to offer peace because they are relating it to an object and an action.
Over the holiday season we will be celebrating peace and light and a new lesson that we have introduced in our classroom has votives with little electric candles to turn on and off. The original intention of the lesson was to help to develop their pincer grip (have you ever tried to turn one of those candles on?! They can be difficult!), but ever since we began singing about and passing peace, the lesson has evolved into something very different. They still are working on their pincer grips trying to turn the candles on and off, but now many of our friends will turn the candles on, choose a friend, and offer peace. Some say, “Peace”, others say, “Thank you”, and still others begin to sing Candle for Peace. Our messages and acts of peace are being received! It is a beautiful sight to see a toddler offering peace to another toddler or saying thank you in such a calm and beautiful way.
“I offer you peace, I offer you love, I offer you friendship. I see your beauty, I hear your needs, I feel your feelings. Our wisdom flows from a higher source, And I salute that source in you.” Ghandi’s Prayer for Peace
Happy Season of Thankfulness, Light, and Peace.
~Ms. Melanie and Ms. Ashley