September 09, 2004

first day

I think it's rather brilliant assignment to give a group of brand new kindergarteners on their first day: here's a piece of paper, you can do it with your mommy or daddy or grownup friend who's here with you today, it's a scavenger hunt, you can check off each item on it and then go play in the yard.

Brilliant because the kids have something concrete to do right off, something that makes them feel industrious and successful. Brilliant also because that list includes items like: bathroom, snack tables, kindergarten gate. This gets them acquainted with the layout of their new classroom without boring them in the process.

I also like that one of the teachers' examples of said scavenger hunt was, "Where's the flag?" only, oops, the teachers had forgotten to put it up. So they said, "We forgot. Do your parents ever forget to do things? Yeah, everyone forgets sometimes." A nice little lesson. And then all the kids closed their eyes, no peeking (one of the teachers too) while a teacher got the flag and set it up.

Warmth. Intelligence. Good signs.

On the other hand, when asked tonight if he liked his new class, Damian said, "Not very much." Why? "I thought it was boring." Not what you want to hear, is it?

From a preschool perspective, the kindergarten class was boring. Few toys, not much to do during free play. The difference? No free play, or at least not much. This is a structured classroom for formal learning. Fun in the sense that learning and interaction can be fun, but it's not about the toys anymore.

I think I'll ask Damian again in a week or two, see if he still thinks it's boring.

Posted by Tamar at September 9, 2004 10:51 PM