The week before a big break such as winter break is always mixed with a lot of fun and a little bit of chaos. However, students love these days of dress-up, winter activities, a bit of hygge in the classroom, and lots of games. We read books about winter and "sewed" paper gloves, discovered why bears hibernate and about frogs that freeze themselves solid and then thaw out and hop away in the warm spring, and got our hands messy mixing together Oobleck, a non-Newtonian fluid (it acts like a liquid when being poured, but like a solid when a force is acting on it.) All of these activities were focused on processes: processes of trial and error, the process of change, and how we can affect the process through how much force (emotional or physical) we put into what we are trying to achieve.
Students were exposed to not only traditional academic activities this week such as writing, grammar, math, and science but they were also able to participate in the 2nd grade store! PNA students get to interact with students in all grade levels and the 2nd grade store was an awesome way for 1st graders to learn about money, making wise choices, and being kind and considerate. Students were given $4.00 of play money and were given the opportunity to shop in each of the 2nd grader's store (items were made by the students). It was a great lesson on how far the dollar goes and that you can't just have everything you want.
Lastly, students also learned that saying goodbye to friends is a process. The importance of children being able to say farewell to a classmate moving away is so important for them to process the emotions that follow the absence of a friend. As we gathered in the classroom, students were able to share warm thoughts and ask questions to their friend who was moving to a new part of the state. They were able to share a snack, give a gift, and celebrate the friendship they have built in the classroom here at PNA. Establishing a sense of community and hygge into the classroom truly enable students to feel at home and create deep relationships with their peers. As we all departed for winter break, I truly believe the families and teachers at PNA felt a deep sense of coziness and comfort that can only be present when their is a lot of support and care within a school.
Hygge is a Scandinavian word that translates to a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.
I love the outdoors, reading, art, gardening, and sharing my love of learning!