Though I no longer live in the States, nor do I regularly work with Kindergarten-aged children, these were shared with me from the other side of the world today, and I couldn't help posting them to this wonderful place.
Prior to Kindergarten each child takes an assessment. Part of this includes alphabet recognition.
It may also be said that the children make assessments of their own.
One little girl paused on "p." The teacher prompted, "Do you remember this one?"
The little girl conspiratorially replied, "It's hard to remember when you don't know."
A little boy was going through making associations with each letter. "A is for Adam, that's my name. B is for Brecken, he goes to my pre-school." And so on through the alphabet to the letter X. Even here he was not at a loss.
"I've been scared of [a boy] for years. 1) Because he's tall,2) Because he always wears pants,3) He always wears black shoes,4) Because he has black hair,and 3) Because he has a shirt with bones on it." Be careful what you wear, you never know what message you're sending.
While curling ribbon for the Kindergartners' "super secret" present a boy asked me why I used such big scissors. I told him it was because I had big hands. He thought a moment and replied, "You have a big face."
While subbing we wrote things we were thankful for. We went around the room and each student said something he or she was thankful for. There was a student who couldn't think of something on his first turn, so we skipped him with a promise to come back. When we came back he stuck his head in his hands, then looked at me and said, "Um...I don't want to talk about it anymore."
The class has just completed learning the Alphabet. The students believe they will now graduate to First Grade. To heck with learning numbers,patterning,geography,animals, or movements in dance. That stuff is overrated.
After showing the Kindergartners the proper paint-spattering technique of running the teeth of a table knife across the teeth of a toothbrush it was almost eerie to see how many of them turned the brush over,leaned down, and spattered their faces. That's right, Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad.
A student brought in money for a "super secret" Christmas gift the class is making for their parents a few days late. A note with the money said, "She refused to show me this note because she thought if she did she would be giving away the super secret surprise. Here is the $1.50 she owes."
After being selected as Star of the Day the little girl announced, "It's my super lucky day! I get to be Star of the Day, and we're having a little party to put up our Christmas Tree!" Turns out, she got even luckier when she won a book in the Friday Drawing. Sometimes the heavens open and fortune smiles down on us.
For a Christmas project the Kindergartners were to glue a red pom-pom on Santa's "cherry nose" and a cotton ball on the end of his cap. A student brought his over for me to check. The cotton ball was glued to Santa's nose, and the pom-pom was on the end of Santa's red cap.When in doubt, match with like colors.
The teacher was facing the board, showing the students how to color a project they would be working on. A boy on the front row stood up, shoved his hands in his pockets, and began meandering toward the door, announcing as he went, "I'm just gonna go to the bathroom."
A girl has been calling a boy who rides her bus "boyfriend" lately. On the ride home yesterday she said, "Hey boyfriend, I'm just gonna have to call you friend now because my mom says we can't date til we're older. Older than five, like 16 or 18. So I'm just gonna call you friend, ok?"
His response?None. He had been oblivious the whole time. Some things don't change with age.
Yesterday a girl came in wearing a short-sleeved summer dress in yellow over purple sweat pants, with a pink t-shirt underneath. Today she wore pink printed capris, purple shoes, and a navy blue top. In Kindergarten we are learning patterns. Coordinating colors doesn't come til eighth grade Home Ec.
Today we learned about letter X and had to give an outline our own unique features. One boy gave himself a purple Mohawk. He was right about one thing and wrong about one thing. Purple his hair is not, but he does rock the Mohawk.
Stringing Fruit Loops for the class Christmas Tree. The instructions were, "String 10, eat one. String 10, eat one." They were translated into, "Put 10 in your mouth, string one." And, "String 10, eat one off the string."
No matter what you are doing, or how busy you may appear to be, it is the standard belief of every child that what they have to tell you is the most important thing in the world, and you are to be wholly consumed by it (as they are). Some people never grow out of this five-year-old belief.
Each day we have "news" instead of "sharing." Today for news a Kindergartner shared that his dad broke his leg...when he was playing football in high school. We're still working on the relevance of time as it relates to what constitutes "news."
Kindergartners cannot work while talking, but their productivity increases if they sing while working. Those dwarfs were on to something with that whole "whistle while you work" bit. Or maybe it's just a little person thing.
We started journal writing. It is important to let the children do their own, best thinking so they can learn how to spell and learn on their own. This time we did "I am thankful for..." Here are some samples.
While passing out copies of a story we had just read a student took a paper from my hand and said, "My mom won't get me a dog." And then he walked away. No explanation. Completely unrelated to anything. Sometimes you just have to talk about what's bothering you.
A Kindergartner can lose a crayon in under one second. A Kindergartner can lose a sharpened pencil in the trip back to the table. A Kindergartner's parents believe their child is incapable of losing homework.
Sharingany detail of one's life is a welcome invitation for anyone else to air the entire family's dirty laundryfor all peers to here. There is no shame. There are no scruples. When in doubt, know this:your child's Kindergarten teacher knows just as much as you hope she doesn't.
Whenever a new object is introduced into the classroom all students must observe, touch, smell, and sometimestaste the new item to become familiar with it. Kindergartners are the masters of sensory learning. The only skill they need to work on is listening.