Yes, there was even more that happened over the first days of school. On our science table there is an old and very heavy book about Earth. The photos are fascinating, all taken from above. A child was lugging the heavy book to the floor to see the photos.
Heavy and old is definitely cool.
I asked, “Do you want to see the photos? Let’s play “The ‘Stop Game’ and see our planet Earth.”
Seizing the moment is what I do, because it’s the opportunity for some of the best teaching. So, we played ‘The Stop Game’. I fan the pages of the book, and children yell out “Stop!” Whatever that page happens to be, I stop. That’s the page we study and learn about. All week, this book has been a huge hit. The Stop Game is also perfect for poetry books.
We have one ‘Big Book’ in the classroom this first week, “Anno’s Counting Book.” It’s a classic. The children love it!
A child was dragging the book across the floor to look at the pages (and count) when I said, “Wait! You won’t believe what I have!” I pulled out my own copy of the book. Connor couldn’t believe there was a big one and a little one. He insisted on going through every page together to see if they were all the same.
These are the important moments in teaching. They’re not planned. They just happen. And if I don’t pay attention and do something, I have lost a great teaching opportunity. If I follow the children, they are empowered. They want to learn more.
This is a djembe (pronounced jem-bay), an African drum.
This week we learned about its construction, how to make different sounds, and we played the beat of the syllables in our names. Then, we did something really fun – we went to the doorway of other classes and ‘serenaded’ them with the “Goodnight Moon” rap. Reciting the words while playing the djembe is very popular. Other classes loved it!
We weren’t able to go outside as our playground is still under some construction. Besides serenading other classes, moving and dancing, we used scooter boards up and down the hallway. This was hard work, great upper body strengthening, and of course fun. Children who were waiting for a turn cheered their classmates along as they zoomed on scooter boards.
Oh, we also tackled our first 60-piece puzzle. It took two days to put it together, and we never gave up. The whoops and hollers when we finally connected the last piece felt good.
Can you tell we have already adjusted? Children are now familiar and comfortable with their new school. They know all the ins and outs of routine and where things are. It feels good.
And then Eddie asked, “Jennie, where is Gloria going to sit?” Oh my! Gloria wasn’t at school this first week. I thought it might be too much. Leave it to children to notice and want to make their new home complete, with Gloria.