Anything in Your Backpack Today?
As our first month of school unfolds, it's great to see LANK children walking independently down the hill to enter the building. We know they are experiencing the good feeling that comes from knowing this is my school; I belong here!
As parents, it is perfectly normal to be curious about what is happening during those hours your little one is away from home. At LANK, many of our activities are hands-on, sensory explorations so they might not be immediately visible to you. For example, the first few weeks of school included nature and bear hunts, show and tell, a friendship train, cookie jar game, sidewalk chalk art, sand and play dough creations, dramatic play, singing, magnet and block construction. Of course every classroom was equally concerned with establishing classroom routines, easing transitions, and helping children feel loved after separating from their parents. But, none of these wonderful activities will fit neatly into a canvas school bag! Our days are busy with the kinds of learning experiences that exceed what can be demonstrated on a piece of paper.
As I reflected on the busy hum in our school over the course of these early days, I was reminded of an anonymous poem I stumbled upon quite a few years ago. I think it conveys what learning in a preschool classroom might look like, and captures the essence of what transpires on a typical day at our lovely school.
Today I did math and science,
I toasted bread.
I halved and quartered.
I counted, measured, and used my eyes, ears and head.
I added and subtracted on the way,
I used a magnet, blocks and memory tray.
I learned about a rainbow and how to weigh.
So please don't say, "Anything in your backpack today?"
You see, I'm sharing as I play.
I learned to listen and speak clearly when I talk,
to wait my turn, and when inside to walk.
To put my thoughts into a phrase,
to guide a crayon through a maze.
To find my name and write it down,
to do it with a smile and not a frown.
To put my pencils and crayons away,
So please don't say, "What, nothing in your bag today?"
I've learned about a snail and a worm,
remembering how to take my turn.
Helped a friend when he was stuck,
learned that water runs off a duck.
I looked at words from left to right,
agreed to differ, not to fight.
So, please don't say, "Did you only play today?"