This post will attempt to address a couple things ; 1) the hilariousness that is my class of 2 and 3 year olds and what they claim to be afraid of and 2) how easy it is for teachers to provide great, meaningful documentation.
We had just finished a journey through the book “Quick As a Cricket” by Audrey Wood. I highly recommend this book for not only it’s beautiful illustrations of all kinds of animals and habitats, but also it’s wonderfully simple way of teaching opposites, feelings and diversity. So along comes Halloween and as these kiddos are about to turn 3, they’re officially getting into this holiday – the decorations, costumes, and the concept of “scary”. I decide to ask them all what they’re afraid of which I have done with several classes of mine in the past, but never at such a young age. The answers were so genuine, so random, and so priceless and I decided I must send out an email to the parents…….The email consisted of the following message and then the list with each child’s name and their scare of choice.
The good news: we are developing some great vocabulary and beginning to recognize our feelings.
The bad news: there’s some scary stuff out there!
*the Music Teacher
*When my food mixes on the plate
*Tigers and Lions
As it has been in the past when I’ve sent out this email, I got immediate responses from the parents, most in hysterics and saying I had just made their dreary Wednesday. A lot of them said they forwarded it to grandparents or copied it into their Facebook pages or shared it around their office.
Attention Teachers: this is as difficult as documentation needs to be! Not hard, right? This exercise took about 5 minutes to put together and provided the kids and parents with a memorable, hilarious glimpse into all their differences, feelings and fears. When I’ve done this activity with older kids, we have then found pictures in magazines that represented our fears, cut them out, pasted them next to pictures of the kids, and made some great storyboards for the classrooms. Not only did this extension of the activity provide fine motor development with cutting out collage material, but also provided some great conversation opportunities for the children about their differences,”Matthew’s afraid of spiders but I’m not, I’m afraid of skeletons”. And by the time Halloween’s over, wouldn’t you know it, some of our fears were gone. So again, all you teachers out there feeling overwhelmed by the desire to create meaningful documentation, but thinking you’re too busy – don’t think too hard. Just ask the right questions and type away:)