One Sunflower

such a simple thing…maybe not

on February 7, 2012

“I love walking through your room and seeing what your students are up to.”

Most elementary educators have no idea what happens in a preschool classroom.  Well, I’ll tell you – it’s the same thing happening in all classrooms; I am scaffolding learning in the most innovative and engaging ways I can because everything matters.

“So simple and so developmentally appropriate….”  was the rest of the comment made by the first grade teacher about the work laid out for my students to do when they arrive. I created a simple rubric on graph paper of two types of patterns my students could create with Unifix cubes and then put a handful of the cubes on each table.
We have been practicing with the cubes during large and small group activities and this was a way to assess what they could do on their own or by watching their peers.  I walk around while my students are engaged in these early morning activities and I can tell who knows how to get started and who needs some hints and assistance.

It is simple – and it is developmentally appropriate –  but just like every teacher  – I spend a lot of time building towards these types of experiences and using them  to teach and assess my students efficiently.  It takes 5 minutes here and  5 minutes there.

I am always thinking about how I can take advantage of every minute of every day and engage my students in fun, challenging and developmentally appropriate learning all the time.

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8 responses to “such a simple thing…maybe not

  1. Stacey says:

    I’ll admit it. I have no idea what goes on in a preschool classroom. That’s part of the reason I love reading your posts… I get to see what goes on “in there.” Your writing is definitely prepping me for what’s to come (and what I should expect) for my daughter in a few years. Oh wait, maybe in two years since she just turned one!

  2. Tara says:

    I taught pre-school for a year, and unifix cubes were such a great learning tool. We also had a big basket of them at home, and my three children used them for all sorts of things – from play to homework helpers. Thanks for sharing those adorable pictures, too!

  3. Linda Baie says:

    It continues to be wonderful to hear what you do, however you want to make it seem simple. I know what I do with my pre-school granddaughter & that’s mostly offer materials & observe what she does with them. The five minutes here & there is apt-fitting important things in as you can is what teachers do, but the knowing what to fit is the key. Your post shows what a great teacher you are with the kids. Thanks always for those photos!

  4. elsie says:

    I love the 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there! That’s the key to learning, not just in a preschool class.

  5. You have a way of capturing the balance between teaching the standards and teaching the kids–this is the way it should be in all grades, not just early childhood!

  6. MaryHelen says:

    Such an important lesson to appreciate five minutes here and there.

  7. Betsy says:

    I can relate to the five minute thing! You take a moment here and there trying to make magic for each child and teach them something new every day. Such a challenge with little sprouting seeds.

  8. Donna Smith says:

    It would be nice for teachers of older students to understand that teaching the young ones is as much “work” as it is for them to teach the older…sometimes (often?) it is more. They can’t sit still and just work on their own and read the directions, etc. A long time ago, when I first started teaching a husband and wife would switch places for a day: he taking her kindergarten, and she taking his high school classes. They both taught in the same district, and I think it gave them both an appreciation for the “where they came from” and the “where their headed” picture – a much needed sense of we’re all in this together…like this group is!

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