One Sunflower

it’s all on the menu in preschool

on October 4, 2011

Levi is happiest when he’s playing with an adult near by.  As the last of three boys, he’s been at home with mom for the past 4 years while his older brothers were in school.  On a recent home visit, I was shown “arrows” made from sticks of wood with Crayola Magic points as well as a felt quiver.  I heard stories about his adventures in the neighborhood and visits to a variety of playgrounds, all identified by special characteristics.   “My favorite is ‘Dark Slide’ but ‘Eagle playground’ is closest.  And the newest.”  This child has been nurtured by loving parents and creativity is exploding out of him.

But he is also a shy little boy without a lot of confidence in himself and his abilities.  Last week, Lila stepped on his heel and pulled his shoe off.  He held it up to me and said,”I don’t know how to put this on.”  It was a velcro shoe! Another day he told me he couldn’t read yet when I sat next to him and opened a picture book between our laps.  (Oh dear!)

Last Friday, Levi began organizing the play food on the table. Seeking to engage some peers in his play,  I suggested he ask one of the other students what they would like to eat and serve it up on the tray.

Remembering the “menu” another child had made the previous week, Levi brought over some paper and drew lines on it.  I suggested we draw pictures of the food items as well.  I supported him to draw pizza and a cupcake, he drew the apple and grapes.  Alisha was able to choose her food and Levi made a fine feast!

I’m sure he’ll continue making plenty of menus this year and soon the lines and pictures will turn into sounds represented by letters.

Now, how about a lesson in putting on your own shoes…..


7 responses to “it’s all on the menu in preschool

  1. This slice speaks to the joy of our work – watching the child emerge.

  2. Donna Smith says:

    Sometimes the obvious teachings, the basic of all teachings, are omitted. Parents don’t seem to remember what they need to teach. I wonder sometimes if it is lack of family structure, like grandparents around. Grandparents aren’t afraid to ask, “Haven’t you learned to tie your shoe yet?” or ask the parents “Haven’t you taught him how to put on his socks?” I remember having one or both of my parents say things like “How long have you lived in this house?” when I didn’t know where something was placed or how to do something that was obvious. Over-coddled and under-supervised seems to be how our children are raised now. How does that happen?

  3. grade4wizard says:

    It’s all about noticing. Noticing what they can or can’t do. And then building on what they can do already. You envision what he can soon do when learning letters. I am sure that this little boy will soon put on his shoes also.

  4. Donna Smith says:

    It’s true, that from here it is the noticing and growing from where you are at the present. And with these bright, creative, curious young minds, it isn’t that it is “too late” if they can’t do something yet. You certainly can’t learn everything in the first 5 years of life! And given the drive to learn, they will pick up everything they need very quickly now! But isn’t it strange how one child will see himself as a reader (yet not know how to read), and another will decide that they can’t read and may have never even held a book. That one can not only put on his shoes, but tie them, while the other cannot slip into velcro shoes. Such a distance between the two, yet in most cases they will be in the same spot come the end of first grade. Thank you teachers of young children!

  5. Linda Baie says:

    I love that play with food. We have a stack of old metal plates sitting in a living room, and my grandchildren drag them out often to play restaurant, take our orders, grab little things for pretend, etc. I love the picture of the menu, the start of great things.

  6. Tam says:

    Step by step. It’s great how you’re leading him to success!

  7. It would have been easy to overlook or dismiss these nuances of Levi’s behavior. How cool that you noticed and that he produced some real world writing to boot!

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