A few weeks ago, I had the chance to work in a kindergarten class at Ridgeview Public School. Unlike other grades, there are a lot of different activities going on in kinder at the same time and I would like to capture them not just with still pictures but the conversations that take place when their talking out loud their creative minds.
What fascinates me more upon hearing these captured talks are the noise in the background. I played the video over and over to listen closely to what’s happening beyond what the lens can cover. I knew what exactly took place to the little ones that I was speaking with but there were more speakers around that were talking meaningfully at the same time.
Until now, I still find myself watching and listening to these videos and wonder. And yes, kindergarten is very busy.
Hats off to all the educators out there who make learning so much fun and meaningful for these young minds during their first years in school. How do you capture all these moments?
One of my favourite topics in math is measurement. There are just so many fun things to do using non-standard and standard units.
Instead of doing everything that’s planned for today, students were given the time to finish their Easter egg symmetry and math measurement activity that they started working on yesterday.
Before they headed off to Music at the end of the day, we read a short story titled, Measurement Day. It’s about the different activities that students brainstormed that they can do on Measurement Day in the gym. One of them was Blowing Feather. They were all ears while I was reading the story. Why not do one of them?
There was no feather in the classroom but crepe papers. I cut a small piece from each colour: green, purple, pink, fuchsia. The class was divided into 4 groups of 4. Two metre sticks were laid on the carpet as starting point. The distance of each paper will be measured from the starting point to where it will land using a ruler (cm). One member from each group every turn. 1, 2, 3, Blow!
It’s a spur of the moment simple math activity and yet, students were so engaged during the learning process. Who would have thought?
One of the kids prizes that were given yesterday during our Easter celebration was a set of “old school games” in one box: pick-up sticks, dominoes and jacks.
The one that these three boys chose to play was Pick-up Sticks. These boys are 18, 15 and 11 years of age. They had no clue how to play the game and didn’t even know what it’s called until they looked into that small piece of paper called instruction.
At an early age, they’re very much exposed to playing games online. They can figure out the mechanics of these games easily. Their interaction to players is not limited to physical presence but rather open to a global community.
But I would like to strike a balance. Touching what you’re actually playing with, winning the battle face-to-face, and an actual human interaction in this digitally connected world are also essential and one of the basic needs of people.
I wonder how many households have these games still. Or how many families spend time together playing them.
When students ask me if they can play a board game whenever there’s time, my answer is always yes. I will not stop them from learning something new but will also give them a taste of both worlds: appreciation of the old.