"When do we get to play?" This is something that kindergarten teachers hear all too often. As the bar is continually raised and the expectations reach levels once thought unreachable, we are struggling to find a balance between pushing our students to succeed and allowing them time to just be five year olds.
I teach a wonderfully diverse group of nineteen kindergartners, who are eager to soak up everything we introduce to them.
We have the unique opportunity to house several nationalities and both extremes of the socioeconomic status. However, no matter the background, all students desire the freedom to learn through exploration. And, it is my goal to give them that opportunity.
Kindergarten is a whole new world compared to what we experienced so many years ago. Where we used to be able to learn though play and socialization, we now have state requirements to fulfill and mandated curriculum to teach.
What happened to giving our students time to learn through exploration and creation?
That is exactly what we plan to do! Each morning we want to give our students an opportunity to come into the classroom and experience the freedom to create and explore through a variety of hands-on materials that masks itself as play.
Through using materials such as circuts, Erector Sets, balancing games, magnetic building blocks, marble runs, Spirograph Sets, and dominos, students are able to use their imaginations to create and build. They are using beginning engineering skills, while just enjoying the time to create.
Students will need to use all parts of their brain as they work their way through a variety of literacy and creation based stations.
We can not wait to see the joy in our students' faces as they start their days with something that is both engaging and educational.
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