important things

Kindergarten is pretty important.

Just ask any five year old.

It's even been said that everything that a person needs to know they learned in kindergarten.

So, it must be important.
We make lists of important things.

Other classes might call them criteria.  We call them important things.

Our first list, is something that is dear to the kidlets (and me) ... playing.

We sit down and talk about what is important about playing.  

There was a pretty in depth (for 5 year olds) discussion about wanting to play alone sometimes, saying some children can play and others can't, children coming into a game and taking it over (stealing the game), saving favourite bits of lego, knocking over someone else's tower ...

We could have had an important things list a couple of miles long. 

It had to be boiled down a bit.  We decided that we wanted others to be kind and fair.  That pretty much covered the two mile list.

The last point could be because I tell the kidlets that if they can't clean up the toys, that means that there are too many toys in the classroom and I am required to take the ones left in the classroom into my "office" (the space under my table). 

That leads into our second important list - cleaning up!  A topic dear to my heart - at least the kidlets think it is.  From my perspective, it is OUR classroom, so it is not right that I do all the tidying.  And, I should never do for a child what s/he can do, or almost do, for themselves (Maria Montessori).

After we clean up, we can do a check in to see how we did in reference to our important things. 
Did we do a really really good job?
Did everyone stop playing and help?
Did we sit down on the carpet when the classroom was tidy?
What are we good at?
What do we need to work on?

After a month of kindergarten,  we sat down to chat again.

We chatted about what was important in kindergarten. 

I need to back up a bit.  At the beginning of the school year, I read a light bulb post by Madame Belle Feuille about mission statements. She posted pictures from one school where every class crafts a mission statement and posts it outside their classroom.  Brilliant. (She also has whittled down to a short, concise and powerful mission statement for herself.  Again brilliant.)

Our mission statement  - what we want in our classroom - is our important things in kindergarten list.

Yes - the second two points I say all the time, and the kidlets were parroting me.  I was delighted - means that they actually sometimes listen when I am talking!!

After I had finished writing down all the kidlets' important things, a quiet little voice said, "hugs are important".

Yes, they are my sweet one.  Yes they are.

1 comment

  1. Brilliant--a Mission Statement! I am going to do this with my kinders before conferences at the end of the month. (I'll send you a pic.) Thanks for sharing the lists. I wish I could visit your classroom!


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