Lately I have been thinking a lot about the importance of having learning opportunities available throughout the day, but also thinking about where are the times, the moments where my students have choice and also opportunities to collaborate around an idea and interest.
Thinking about literacy…. My students really enjoy reading and looking at books. I feel fortunate to have so many books, and a variety of topics. After we explore a theme I am always struck by how my students seem to naturally make connections on ideas previously explored. In this drawing one of my students choose to create this because he was imagining what it might look like if you were inside and outside of a building. Now I have an opportunity to have a conversation about perspective and what my student sees and why he choose to create this drawing. Just from his illustration I see how he uses his words to describe what he sees as well as other symbols that we have explored to help identify and give his text more meaning.
As an educator I am always trying to weave big ideas we have explored into the work, the choices my students make. Just by doing this I begin to help my students explore and also think about the what and how they came up with when they are creating their own representations of their learning.
When I create opportunities to work alongside my students I am also modeling the importance of a collaborative, rich, interactive learning culture too. I have noticed lots of my students seeking out places inside our classroom where they can connect and collaborate with others. These partnerships, opportunities for collaboration are important because they all help shape the classroom culture. All students begin to take risks and reach out to others to explore an idea. Students begin to connect, collaborate, share their ideas and have conversations that offer invitations to reflect.
Classroom culture is important. It begins before my students even see their classroom. I use a variety of tools to help connect and share what kindergartenlife will be like. When creating a culture of learning I try to think about myself as being on a hike around the globe. I try to imagine all the places I might be going, how I will get there and why. The people I meet are my students and their families. Together we begin to connect and inspire each other through our explorations. Through this type of mindset I am grateful for the people I meet and how they have and will enrich and touch my heart and mind, forever leaving their imprint, impressions of what their perspectives are. We are all explorers. I am continually thinking about how this might be applied and explored inside/outside Kindergarten. Kindergarten is a magical and wonderful place to be.
My learning continues to grow, be challenged and inspired. Through my connections with others I have become a better teacher, educator, learner and collaborator. My perspective is open and my thinking has shifted, it has become more fluid and enriched. Being connected gives me opportunities to create and design my ideas. I am able to be innovative and use my imagination in regards to learning. Being connected helps me share my passion for learning and connects me globally in ways I never thought possible.
Connecting= Passion=Voice, all of these ideas spiral continually for me throughout my work, learning as I go……