I am excited to share with all of you my insights into teaching young children. There are so many good things that I have written about, from reading aloud to music, art, ‘traveling’ across the world, eating in our Chinese restaurant, quilting, play performances, and so on. Each time something great happens in my classroom I write about it. Often the most important things are the little things, as they become the foundation for learning. It’s all those little things that are really the big things, and that’s what I write about. Let me give you an example: Music is a big part of my program, and a few years ago the children were particularly excited about singing “God Bless America”. I’m not sure why, as we sing many types of songs at school. I paid attention and realized they needed more. They had begun to sing together on their own and even stage themselves on the playground to sing for other classes. In November I invited soldiers into the classroom so we could sing to them and thank them. It was wonderful, but still not enough for the children. In December we made our own book, based on the song, for our families. This was an enormous and collaborative effort. Don’t ask me why, but I could sense that I needed to do more for the children. I contacted a master quilter who had been a frequent guest in my class. She is a grandmother figure who adores the children. With her help, the children designed a quilt based on the song “God Bless America”. They did everything except the actual sewing, which they watched the quilter do. That quilt traveled to the Intrepid Museum in New York City, and is at the Fisher House at Boston’s VA Hospital. What if I had not paid attention to children singing a favorite song? Nothing would have happened beyond singing.
Parents and teachers have been reading my work for years, and begging me to share what I know with ‘the world’. So, I am doing just that. I’ll post on my blog every week, from ‘soup to nuts’. Look for my next post in a few days. I hope you enjoy reading.