my classroom is chock full of
multi-age kinder (3s-young 5s)
who stay with us for two years.
one of the very best things
is watching the older kinder
who were the younger kinder
just one year before
as they quite naturally and organically grow
to become the leaders/teachers/helpers/mentors
to the new group of younger kinder
who were at home
just one year before.
what a joy it was to watch someone older
spend a very long time
finding all the special markers she needed
to create an easy to see linear rainbow
for someone younger
who wanted to create
her very own rainbow picture
in her very own style
using all the special colors.
judging by their faces
when she finished her very own rainbow
they were both equally proud of the results.
“nine tenths of education is encouragement.”
learned a new card game
while hanging with family at christmas
when someone reads the rules
it does nothing for me
i learn best by trial and error
lots of trials
lots of errors
but i did somehow win my first game
with a combo
of good luck and a happy accident
nothing to do with strategy
i’m fine with that
then got slaughtered in the next five games
by the kids
my hot streak might be over.
“You’ve got to know when to hold ’emKnow when to fold ’emKnow when to walk awayAnd know when to runYou never count your moneyWhen you’re sittin’ at the tableThere’ll be time enough for countin’When the dealin’s done.”
-kenny rogers, the gambler
photo credits: universal studios, facebook
they quite naturally
are always busy
hunting and gathering
collecting, counting, carrying
moving, lining up
until it feels and looks just right.
or until recess ends.
whichever comes first.
and then there is a mad rush
to fill pockets, and mittens, and hands
with as much as they can hold
treasure to be transported home
to go through the whole process again.
“we used to be hunter-gatherers, now we’re shopper-borrowers.”
with the return of the school year
comes the return of our outdoor adventure days.
“we could have never loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.”
when you mix a scientist who loves dinos along with little people who also love dinos
you get bursts of curiosity, awe, and excitement on both sides
especially when one the of the kinder mentioned
it was ‘from the jurrasic period’ and another asked if it was ‘an omnivore.’
“did you know that the stegosaurus lived further away from the t-rex than we are from the t-rex in time?”
the little ones came to school
most for the first time ever
filling our room with emotion and energy
a few minutes into our day
one had me write
an urgent note to her mom
“bring the car!”
we’re all tired and mostly all happy
tomorrow we begin again.
“be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”
“when you really pay attention, everything is your teacher.”
sugarbush park, ann arbor, mi, usa – summer 2022
heading out on a rainy day
to explore, discover things, and learn
in the much larger classroom of the universe.
“the universe is a great university.”
kinder in their natural habitat capturing the ever-elusive giant stick
“live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the Earth.”
-henry david thoreau
it took a while and a team of busy gatherers
but the kinder were happy to announce
they had collected and lined up
and that equals 1 museum.
“as with other phases of nature, I have probably loved the rocks more than I have studied them.’