My willow tree helpers
I recently heard this phrase and it resonated so deeply with me. If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you’ll see I truly believe in this concept and I’ve done everything I can to embody it in the classroom. When my PreK class explored the United States last year, we didn’t just look at where the Southeast was on the map or learn there was a big river in those parts. We decided to “Go Big or Go Home” and our room BECAME the Southeast for a couple months. We had a willow tree in the corner, we had a huge laminated Mississippi River that ran throughout the whole class with all the states on it and their unique wildlife cut out and pasted along, and we had regional food of course:)
We made peach pie, mint juleps, ran a “Kentucky Derby”, made a giant cardboard paddle boat, and went to a local cafe famous for their Beignets. Every one of those kids can tell you who invented airplanes, in what city Mardi Gras is celebrated, and who farmed the first peanut. We did this all year with each geographical area and it was one of the most memorable years of teaching in my 10 year career. I really encourage you to understand this concept and try it. LIVE the curriculum in your room and see what happens; the level of engagement will astonish you and your creativity will flow like it’s never flowed before.