I personally think this blog is pretty awesome (toot toot!). But I have been thinking about how I could make it even more awesome and have added a new tab. If you look up beside the Blog and Calendar tabs near the right-hand top of the page, I added a More,,, section. You can choose between ABCs, Math and National Geographic. Selecting one of those takes you to what is called a Symbaloo- a page with a number of separate tiles. If you click on a tile it will open a new window to take you to the site that hosts the song, game, info etc. These are all appropriate for Team Awesome when they have screen time at home. Some of them are favourites we use in class and some of them are new. Awesome! Enjoy!
The 21st century skills are a set of abilities that students need to develop in order to succeed in the information age. One of these abilities is cooperation. Cooperation is a basic life skill that helps us work successfully in groups and interact harmoniously with others. Learning to play and work with peers and adults is critical for developing friendships, completing group projects, and participating in extra-curricular activities. Team Awesome recently had an opportunity to learn more about and practice our cooperation skills.
Last week there were a pile of large cardboard boxes by the entryway door and Mrs. Farber brought one down for each of our classes to play in. The students were excited upon spying the box on the carpet and began to crawl through it like a tunnel. But as more students joined in the play, it became more and more disjointed. The volume rose as there were disagreements over how the play should proceed. It began to get a bit disorderly but I refrained from intervening as I am a firm believer in giving them time to figure things out. Inevitably the box split into two pieces and it was jumped on or rolled up like a carpet. Many of the children had become unhappy and wandered to other centers and the ones who had stayed were not having much fun as they were still disagreeing. Eventually the cardboard became beyond saving and we returned it to the entryway pile.
During carpet time we discussed what had happened and how they felt about it. Everyone agreed that they were unhappy about events, for various reasons, and we discussed ways we could have made playing with the box better, including working like a team, listening to everyone's ideas and then cooperating to make as many of them happen as possible.
The next morning the boxes were still in the entryway so I set another one up on the carpet to see what would happen. As previously, the children began by using it as a tunnel but as more kids arrived it again became disorderly and voices began to escalate. I stopped the play and asked if they remembered our discussion from the day before and how we should try to make everyone happy by working as a team. They decided to talk about ideas and agree on which ones to try. And so they did. With minimal direction on my part. They used the box as a tunnel, as a play house, as part of a game and they coloured the inside and outside. And everyone was much happier. Including me. Students feel good about themselves as learners when they cooperate. Their self-esteem goes up, they have a better sense of community, belonging, and acceptance. I'm glad to have had a chance to help foster that in Team Awesome.
The children were SO excited this week for all of our special activities. The first thing they did Monday morning was count how many sleeps until... you guessed it, their performance. Not until holidays or Christmas but when they get to sing for their families and friends on stage. PJ Day on Friday was second on their list of things they couldn't wait for. And we rocked the jammies today. I just love that 'The Big Day' next week is not even on the horizon for them yet. Of course, now that they are home and schedules are looser, the Countdown will begin and the excitement will mount and it will all be over in the blink of an eye. Enjoy having Team Awesome home for the holidays and I wish you all a happy and healthy 2016.
One of the best things about Kindergarten is the children's first Christmas concert and no matter how the children perform, they are so darned cute up on the stage in their fancy clothes it just doesn't matter. And boy was Team Awesome cute today! So cute, in fact, that I thought I would give you a sneak peek at what you are in for tomorrow.
Mrs. Bowden &