Sunday, March 3, 2013

Little Chairs

Friday Visit #1
I miss the kindergarten days.  Enjoying a recess, caring for class pets, sitting at a table stocked with crayons of every color.  While waiting for the school bell to signal the arrival of the little learners, Lindsay and I explored the classroom.  An array of art work covered the walls and projects hung from the ceilings.  We pointed at the familiar behavioral charts and laughed as we sat in the tiny chairs.

With the 22 students seated on the rainbow carpet, Lindsay and I introduced ourselves and our project.  After asking if they would help us, we received instant enthusiasm.  To ease them into the topic of writing, we read them the Christmas version of the childhood classic "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie."  Since the two teachers had asked us to help them understand the concept of cause and effect, reading this book served as a guiding example of the book the class is going to write together.

Our book follows a pattern; a cat is searching for a mouse and clues lead him from place to place.  The clue, the cause, will lead him to a place, the effect.

With the remainder of our time, the class brainstormed a list of places along with clues that might lead the cat to look there.

In the the short half an hour we had, I learned quite a few things about kindergartners.  For thing one, it's a challenge for them to switch gears from one subject to the next.  After we had been brainstorming for a bit, one of the teachers asked the class "If we need one place for every student and we have 22 students, how many places do we need?"  Kids repeatedly raised their hands and answered with, "A hotel!", "A park!", or "The zoo!"

Working with kindergartners was a blast.  I look forward to next week when we begin working with the kids one on one to help them grasp the concept of cause and effect and write their own page of the book.

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