Monday, September 15, 2014

The Way We Spend Our Days

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.

Annie Dillard

This quote holds such wisdom. Time may be the most valuable commodity that we have in our lives.  There are obligations and expectations that demand our time. We prioritize and  remain anchored to our vision for our family and life but often drift off course and find ourselves committed to things we do not value. 

The way we spend our days in our classrooms shapes the habits of learning and engagement in our Kindergarten community.  How do the children respond to the provocations, experiences and rhythm of the day?  We  protect large spaces of time and limit transitions so the children may dive deep into their imagination and connect to others. Managing our time in the classroom conjures the image of piecing together an intricate puzzle. 

In early September, the children are acclimating to the flow of the day. What comes next? When do we eat? When do I see my mom? Their  bodies are also adjusting to the schedule, The routine of the day reveals the priorities of our classroom ...time to play, time to sketch, time to build, time to read and be read to, time to count and time to collaborate or play in the forest. 

The work of each day presents challenges and  opportunities for inquiry. We observe children communicating ideas with clarity, creating and innovating, applying their understanding to the obstacles they face and striving to do their best. As we catch them in the act we name what we see them doing and encourage them to notice these behaviors in their community members. As teachers we consider what provocations might best develop these propensities. 

Listening to others as we sketch the sights of a city provided an experience with flexibility of thought. As we tour our school, we realized that we were a part of a larger community and felt empowered by the energy. 

How we spend our days listening to others and existing in community is of course how we spend our lives listening and existing in community.

Acquiring and practicing languages of expression has supported children to  bridge gaps in their understandings and  share their thinking with their community. The children capture their stories and thoughts in collage, drawing, and building (and many more).

As we immerse ourselves in these languages we become more proficient. 

How we spend our days expressing and communicating, is of course, how we spend our lives expressing and communicating.

The children are deeply engaged when the environment and experiences are open and yet layered with sophistication. Games appeal to children because they are fun, social and offer opportunities to think strategically. The children persevere and working through conflict to continue the momentum of the game. 

How we spend our days persevering and collaborating is how we spend our lives persevering and collaborating.

How we spend our days connecting to others is of course how we spend our lives connecting to others. 

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