Daily Schedule

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kindergarten Buddies!

There is a pretty adorable batch of kindergartners in the building, have you noticed? Val, their energetic and lovely teacher, and I decided to have a time together every week on Thursday afternoons. For my group, it is an especially nice time because we get to be the "big kids". Mixed aged groupings like these are wonderful for both older and younger children. For older children, it is an opportunity to serve as mentors and to be leaders. We can model more sophisticated approaches to problem solving, and younger children are able to accomplish tasks they could not do without the assistance of older children. This dynamic has been proven to increase the older child's level of independence and competence. Another benefit is that children are more likely to cooperate than compete. This spirit of cooperation and caring makes it possible for children to help each other as individuals and not see each other as competitors.

Oliver works with Ava and Folu...I remember back when he was the kindergartner!

I particularly loved seeing children, now in second grade, being the big buddy to a kindergartner - when just two years ago it was THEM getting the special attention and help as the little guy in Anita's room.

Today, for our "Buddy Time", I told the story of the four pencils. As I showed each pencil, I told the children that I knew people just like these pencils. The first one was unsharpened and had no eraser. After we talked about that, I said that the people I knew that were like this pencil were "do-nothings". Lazy, non-energetic people who just let others do all the work. The second one had erasers on both ends! I said that these type of people were quite like the first - they did nothing because they were so afraid of making a mistake that they wouldn't even try! The third pencil was sharpened at both ends. These people never, ever admitted to making a mistake. They think they can do anything. But of course, the DO make mistakes, as all people do, but they just can't own up to it, and therefore can't fix it. The last pencil had a sharp tip and a big eraser. The children all said, "That's the best! - That's who WE want to be!" This type of person tries hard, even if a task is new or scary. If they make a mistake, no worries! They can try to fix it and go on!

After the story, each child got buddied up and we decorated pencil boxes together. Then each child got a special pencil along with an eraser of their choice for the end.

Here is to a year of trying hard and making mistakes - and trying again.

1 comment:

Odie Langley said...

OMG Susan another wonderful idea put into practice that will instill in your children the desire to be mentors. I am so impressed.