On my way to class on Wednesday, I happened to catch my favorite NPR afternoon show, Radio Boston. The segment I heard was about mindfulness. Dr. Ellen Langer was the guest, and her book, Mindfulness, has come out with a 25th edition this year. Mindfulness is when you are present in the moment and let yourself notice what is happening around you.
For whatever reason, it got me thinking about Kindergarten. We are inundated with things we “have to do” and things that “need to happen” that sometimes I feel like there is no time to really step back and “notice” what real learning has taken place in the last 33 days.
I went into school yesterday with the thought I would really stop and notice. Our morning message showed me that children were learning to recognize and write letters. Our daily calendar work made me notice that it was taking less time to do the work than the week before because they were following the routine better. I had a great lesson about syllable work and children were able to use sound blocks to break apart words into syllables. And had fun doing it!
And then, something magical happened in the block area yesterday afternoon. I decided to finally open up the hard blocks (I wait until I think the students are ready). Five or six children were playing in the area. A couple of them created a magnificent port for ships and had block ships cruising in an out. Two other children made football stadium (maybe thinking about the Pats game?). Then when it was time to clean up; the children worked together to put all the blocks away. Wow. High fives all around. Smiles. What if I hadn’t noticed that?
This morning at Morning Meeting, I put up a picture on our ENO board, which I took of the children working in the block area yesterday. I asked them to tell me what they noticed. Now, I’m not kidding or making this up – a child raised his hand and without prompting said, “We used teamwork to build it and it felt good.”
Ok, my work is done. Well, not really, but it was nice to feel present in that moment. 🙂
Here’s some pictures of some things we also have been working on this week:
We are learning lots of fun Halloween poems –
including this classic one, Five Little Pumpkins.
Our Morning Messages began to leave off letters that children had to fill in. We also looked for letters within the message.
In Math, we worked with shapes and symmetry through continued exploration of pattern blocks. We also counted the days in school and began number writing practice.
Here’s the link to the Radio Boston interview if you’d like to listen: Mindfulness
Have a great weekend!