Monday, January 4, 2010

Why I Love Kindergarten

Christmas break is officially over and today was the big return to school. This is my second year teaching kindergarten and I am really enjoying it. Before my kids were born I taught 4th and 5th grades and I couldn't understand how anyone could handle the chaos known as kindergarten.

Kindergarten is an interesting place to be. Do you remember the toy that had a clear dome full of hard little plastic balls and a long push handle? When you pushed it across the floor, all the little balls would pop every which way and make a noise that would send your mother into fits of rage. Well kindergarten is something like that toy, only you're trapped inside with all of the little popping balls. Eventually you learn to escape and become the person pushing the handle (most days).

Every morning I discuss the calendar with my class. We sing about the days and months, we count how many days we've been in school, and I call on a helper to add the date to our calendar on the wall. The numbers are printed on little sunburst-shaped die-cuts. One side is yellow and the other side is orange. Our first day of school was on September 11th, so I had placed the first 12 days on the calendar yellow side out. On the first day of school I placed the date orange side out to indicate that it was a special day. I did the same for holidays and students' birthdays. After that, as the children came up to place the die-cuts, they started turning them orange-side out if we had P.E., art, or library that day. Then a new pattern emerged. As the child would come up to the calendar, several of the other kids would whisper, "Special! Special!" So the child would again stick the number orange side out. Everyone else would then give a Tiger Woods fist pump and triumphantly cheer "Yesssss!" Finally, we are to the point where every day is an orange day.

Every day is special. And that's why I love kindergarten.

1 comment:

  1. That is excellent. I love your enthusiasm. Maybe we need some of that in my house. ("Special, special!")