We have had so many adventures today, I feel like we packed several Fridays into just one! First of all, our parent teacher was Josh, Marlena’s dad, and he’s always a treat to have in the classroom. Josh has a fun fact or bit of trivia about almost every topic under the sun, which the kids just love. Every time they come to him with a toy, project, or an idea, he responds with additional information that continues their interest in such exciting ways. In response to a child’s statement that cheetahs are her favorite animal, he informed the group that cheetahs can run very fast, but not very far because they get tired, which spawned an even longer conversation about animals, running, and being tired. He’s like a walking Wikipedia!
Josh also helped us expand upon one of the children’s very specific interests: beat-boxing! While all of the children love to sing and express their rhythm through dance, we have one student who is very rhythmic and super talented at creating percussive sounds with his mouth. Noticing this, Josh brought out his phone, on which he had an app that allows you to create beats using different sounds. It was a huge hit! From here, we played a game in which the kids practiced making sounds with their bodies and mouths and imitating one another’s sounds. This project is a prime example of the power of emergent curriculum: the parent teacher noticed a child’s interest, responded to it and built upon it, and the teachers were able to convert that to a group interest. Not only was the specific child’s interest validated, but he also had the pride of being the expert and sharing his love with his friends.
And, just so the letter F didn’t think we forgot about it, we had an incredible game of Fire House out on the playground! The children grouped themselves into a team, each person taking on a role within the fire house. One person was the chief, one person drove the truck, one person answered phones and sounded he siren, and another person handed out hoses. They children then took turns designating different areas of the playground that were “on fire.” The whole crew responded in record time, racing across the playground to put out the flames. They saved a lot of pretend lives today! In the meantime, they also practiced taking turns, generating ideas for pretend play, and accepting the ideas of others.