In addition to the regular curriculum, all children participate in one of the following specialty classes every day.
YOGA WITH TEACHER DENA
Imagine beginning your day with a quiet moment to gather your thoughts, move into your body, mind, and soul, and reflect on the world. This is what we do in yoga. At the heart of yoga is finding connection with the world – nature, ourselves, others. We do this through breathing, movement, and stillness. If we move and direct energy in our bodies to a place of stillness, then we can focus our mind/spirit in a calm and grounded way. Yoga with young children (and older children) looks quite different than with adults. We transform ourselves into animals, trees, other elements in nature, and move a lot. We also rest a lot, because it is just as important to rest as it is to work.
In our classes I often follow the themes that each class is working with in their core classroom. So, we are working with ocean concepts in the primaria class and in Escuelita we are learning about our bodies through becoming animals. With any yoga we do, we always work with the breath. This is one element that separates yoga from other forms of "exercise". Using our breath connects us to ourselves in a very deep way and brings peace to our spirits. Ask your children about hot air balloon breath and mouse pose. Give them a try and discover for yourself the effects of yoga.
SONGS AND STORIES WITH TEACHER LAURA OR TEACHER MARQUE
The fall is off to a musical start! I have written a few new songs for the classroom already, including songs in Spanish to begin and end each singing class. Ask your children if they can sing you a few lines of "Buenos Dias, Mis Amigos." I am also eagerly awaiting a shipment of new books with traditional songs and rhymes in Spanish.
Using a traditional song called "Cucu Cantaba La Rana," I am planning to work slowly toward the integration of singing, playing percussion instruments, and acting for a future Peregrine spectacle!
A note to parent volunteers: when you come to class, the best thing you can do is sing and play along with enthusiasm just like the children. And don't be afraid to raise your hand if you have an idea! Your modeling good music or drama class behavior makes a huge difference.
Gracias a todos para jugar y cantar conmigo!
DANCE WITH TEACHER MEGAN
In addition to leading the Escuelita program at Peregrine School, Maestra Megan teaches a specialty dance class. She has had nine years of formal training as a Jazz, Hip Hop and Salsa dancer as well as five years of choreography experience. She is the director of a dance group at UC Davis and is a member of Salsamania's dance company.
She introduces Peregrine students to the diversity of dance and looks forward to forming a child centered dance program that invokes individuality, creativity and elements of performance art.
"Dance is an art form that engages physical, emotional, and cognitive aspects while invoking freedom of expression. I hope to facilitate the creativity of our students through movement while allowing them the space to develop body awareness, positive self concepts and their own style."
DRAMA WITH TEACHER CARA OR TEACHER CONNIE
Students participate in all kinds of dramatic play from improvisation to putting on full-length plays. Drama is a wonderful way for kids to explore their creativity, make important social and emotional connections with their peers, and express themselves. In addition to being one of our drama specialists, Cara is also the head teacher of the elementary program.