Dear Friends, every weekend you can link up at http://www.ruthayreswrites.com/ for a celebration! Head on over there to check it out! And join us!
Yesterday, I went to an early childhood conference for the first time in ** years. :)
I can't even tell you how at peace I am with being a teacher right now. The theme of the conference was "WONDERful." The idea being we stop and see the wonder in what we are being called to do everyday in our work with kids.
So, I have a few ideas and thoughts I'm celebrating this morning.
From our keynote speaker, Drew Gerdes, on celebrating the Wonder of Each Child: (@ddgerdes on Twitter.)
"Hug First; then Teach."
"Don't teach the class; teach the kids."
"Get to know your kids so well, they feel you are teaching just to them."
"Less is more! Be intentional."
"Social Emotional Intelligence trumps Academics."
"Jesus isn't just for Jesus Time; He's for All the Time." (This quote I'm going to fancy up and display in our classroom somewhere. As I'm new to a faith-based setting, this was just what I needed at that time. )
I hope some of these little pieces of his keynote that jumped out at me can bring you some inspiration as you start the year.
After attending 3 sessions, here are some take-away ideas that I wanted to celebrate and share with you today.
Exploring the Wonder of Nature: Create a culture of play and exploration. Creativity comes from being outside. So many ideas from this session, but tomorrow we could start with this: Go outside, pick a sit spot in the field. If you have them, bring along magnifying glasses, binoculars, etc. If not, just go and sit, let the kids watch, listen, dig, bring you things. Then, have each student share a story of the day. "What did you see? Tell us about it!" It was interesting to note, the naturalist really encouraged story telling here, and not necessarily journaling at this time. Let the kids just tell their stories.
Exploring the Wonder of Kids' Health: Here is a simple game I took away. It it a version of "Drive the Car," a game I learned from watching a Responsive Classroom. You will need hoola-hoops. I was thinking enough for 1/2 my class to play at a time. When the students wear the hoola-hoops around their waist, they are now in their car ready to drive. Then the students simply move around the classroom, careful not to bump into each other. An active way to promote body awareness in our young learners.
I celebrate a full bucket. I hope you do too.