Our students are amazing! Many were born into poverty, are immigrants or refugees from other countries, or are currently experiencing homelessness. Despite difficulties and hardships in their early and current lives, they come to school with smiles, eager, ready, and willing to learn and grow as part of our kindergarten community.
We often spend our own money on necessities for students like clothing, sneakers, snacks, and books.
This doesn't allow us to purchase supplemental materials for the classroom that the district doesn't provide but which can enhance the kindergartners' learning and understanding immensely.
Puzzles teach students many things.
A puzzle teaches young children about the concept of a 'whole' and that each piece is a fraction of the bigger picture.
It also helps develop basic skills such as shape recognition, concentration, goal setting, patience and a sense of achievement, which will stand children in good stead for school.
Puzzles help develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills due to the precise nature of matching each piece exactly. Some correlation can be seen in a child's ability to complete puzzles and their handwriting skills as they have to work carefully. Critical thinking, judgment, visual-perceptual skills, and memory are all tested with a puzzle. There is only one way to complete a puzzle and it can not be cheated. Children will find that their time improves with each puzzle as they start to think more logically and develop tactics.
Sometimes children will take on the challenge of a larger puzzle with a friend. One child could be in charge of finding the outside edges while another focuses on an element within it – communication and working things out together is key to the completion of the puzzle.
The puzzles we have in our classroom are almost 20 years old and many have missing or broken pieces. These new puzzles will make puzzle center the place to be in kindergarten!
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