January 25th, 2020
Wow! Wow! Wow!
What an exciting introduction to the Winter Semester!
With Body Maps and Brain Hats, Bead Chains and Breathing Techniques, Rhythm Sticks and Line-Dancing, everyone is actively embracing our main theme for this year, Mindfulness! Through the guidance of the emotion characters in the Disney-Pixar movie, Inside Out, we are exploring our feelings and how they affect ourselves and others.
Learning through the examples and advice shown by Joy, Anger, Fear, Sadness and Disgust we have adapted a Mindful approach through the acronym:
P - Pause
R - Relax
E - Examine
P - Pause
We have all been practicing this in each Mindful Moment as needed. The conversations between Clients are full of, “I get it now!” as they support each other to practice the P.R.E.P. Method.
Once you read all of the Rotation Reports together, you’ll discover how each subject can create a path to a more complete understanding of ‘What’ you’re feeling and ‘How’ to manage it. Practice the P.R.E.P. Method together at home! We highly recommend it! As our Clients, Lorne and Sam would say, “Don’t worry about today! Just be present!”
As the Semester goes forward, Clients will be asked to bring in a favourite item or wear the colour representing the emotion being studied. It worked very well last week! The Clients feel very special with their choices and we are very impressed with all the conversations that take place.
With lots of stimulating learning going on, Prep to Step-Up is the place to be! Everyone arrives with a smile on their face and continues until home time! Except for the boots, coats and hats you’d hardly know it was winter! Remember, you are part of our ‘Circle’ and are invited to drop in for our Good-Bye Circle at the end of the day!
“Never Ignore a Possible!”
~~ Doreen McCall ~~
PS: We are in dire need of 4-5 new storage cupboards to replace our 5-year old ones that can no longer be repaired. You’ll see them across the back wall. If anyone has a source to buy them at a reasonable price or second-hand, we’d be grateful for your suggestions.
Spring Semester Registration is now Open
April 7th - June 11th, 2020
Due to Increased Enrolment, Registration is Limited! New Client inquiries coming in. Secure Your Spot!
A Deposit of $150.00 is required by Thursday March 12th, 2020 by either Cash, Cheque or e-Transfer.
You are our best ambassadors for Prep to Step-Up! If you promote the program to someone new who definitely signs up, there will be a 10% deduction from your fee.
Literacy: A 'Flurry' of Activity!
The Winter Semester has started out with a flurry of activity! Reading the story “Inside Out” for the past two weeks after watching the movie, the clients are recalling many aspects and each have their favourite emotion.
Discussing the primary emotion JOY for the past 2 weeks has allowed them to write about their own experiences which is generating great conversations. Some are independently spelling out words like HAPPY for the very first time while others are becoming quite detailed in telling their own stories.
Identifying words quickly like Positive; Energy; Smile and Present we would be thrilled to know if they are using these words in their day-to-day activities. When you overhear a client say to another client, “Don't worry about today, Just be Present”, the Educator’s smiles just get bigger and bigger!
The next few weeks will be fun reading a version of Inside Out where they control the story by choosing the path that the characters take (Choose your own Adventure). We continue to teach comprehension and encourage conversation amongst the groups.
Others have started the Real Life Story of Balto – the famous Sled Dog who brought back a serum to prevent a serious outbreak of diphtheria in Alaska. Literacy continues to incorporate History and Geography to give everyone a well-rounded experience.
Math: Mindful Exploration
To begin this Semester of Mindful emotional exploration and management, we began by creating an addition to our routine Calendar that began during the first week. As well as the dates, events and the weather, we’ve added emotional faces to help the Clients express how they feel on a daily basis, helping them get in touch with their emotions on a consistent level.
We then leapt right into our first week of Joy, starting with our focus for this Semester, data management and graphing! We related these to finding information about our emotions and feelings, being able to graph them out and better analyse and understand ourselves by looking at our graphs.
We started looking at different types of graphs in the second week of Joy, and will look at real-life examples toward making our own graphs soon. The Clients are grasping these brand-new concepts very well and we are looking forward to the depth we will explore.
Math and Skills-at-Will are working together this Semester to prepare and introduce everyone to new concepts for our two Stores.
Science: Our Bodies; Inside and Out
This semester, our science rotation will be focusing on our bodies - inside and out! Using visual and tactile models, we will work to understand what is happening inside our bodies; the amazing things our bodies are capable of, why we feel how we feel, and what we can do to keep our bodies healthy.
This topic will also contribute even further to our theme of mindfulness by promoting self-awareness. Through our scientific explorations, we are also always building our reading and writing skills through activities like brainstorming, labelling, researching, and recording.
We started by creating life-sized body maps that we will use to track the different organs and systems that we will be learning about over the course of the semester. After an overview of our bodies from the outside, we have started to take a deeper look at our insides.
First, the brain! Our brain hats have been very fun to wear and also a great visual for helping us to understand how our brain works to control and regulate our entire bodies. Next, given the popularity of food and cooking here at Prep to Step-Up, we will start to investigate the digestive system. Fun experiments to come!
Art: 'My Favourite Things!'
During this Winter Semester the focus will be learning new techniques that engage hand-eye co-ordination, scale and creative choice.
Title pages for all Rotations were created. SIDE ONE of the Portfolios introduced large print and individuality using rulers to make the letters in the word Art, then decorating them.
JOY is the first emotion of this Semester as we explore our feelings and emotions. Clients designed posters of “My Favourite Things!” which revealed some really interesting results! Sunburst pictures alternating with Kandinsky circles introduced large and small scale projects which challenged Clients to practice Mindfulness.
Skills-at-Will: "Bring our Best!"
In Skills-at-Will we have been exploring the four emotions mentioned in the movie Inside Out; Joy, Sadness, Fear and Anger. We have been exploring different ways in which we feel these emotions and how they can be presented.
The first few weeks specifically we have explored sound and recognized objects or situations that make us feel these emotions. During the next few weeks we will continue to recognize these emotions in other people. We will be exploring how people portray their emotions and how to react to the specific situations they represent.
As well as learning a series of different breathing and comfort techniques, and as a reference to skills learned during the last Semester, conversations regarding friendship and affirmations will also be intertwined.
In skills we have been working on “Bring Our Best!” and what this means to each person.