New Beginnings

School resumed on Tuesday and the kinders returned to the classroom with a swagger that suggested that this was their room. The cubby was buzzing with stories about lost teeth, the mastery of new skills and exciting family news The eagerness to renew their friendships was demonstrated by hand holding, hugs and sitting close together. To complement their growth, I made a few changes in the classroom with a small sofa, new books and an expectation of more independent work.


As teachers we always are amazed by how the kinders mature over the long winter break, are ready for new challenges and demonstrate noticeable confidence. Yesterday there were many children that stood out. For example, one kinder’s shyness was less apparent as he spoke with a confident voice in circle time, shared ideas during free play and interacted with great enthusiasm during math stations. Later, for many kinders, change was noticeable in their play as they solved problems, collaborated and shared resources. When the class returned from music they independently changed into dry shoes and hung up jackets and went directly to math stations. There was a hum in the classroom as partners played together building patterns, doing number work, solving puzzles, sorting snowman clothing and much more. Mrs. Nobel, our new administrator, happened to be in the room at this time and the kinders were having such success that we both did not want to interrupt their work to welcome her, so we just enjoyed the show!


I was very proud of them and also couldn’t help being reassured by my September decision to dedicate such a large portion of our day to free play and to work harder to make sure that that other parts of the day were play-based. Bodrova and Leong (2003) describe the current situation (classroom) as the “disappearance of play from early childhood classrooms" although years of research have confirmed that that approach contradicts sound development theory while a play based curricula plays an essential role in contributing to growth in the domains of social, emotional and cognitive development. I didn’t have my camera yesterday but will bring it in on Thursday to photograph their wonderful work—play.

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