One of my friends posted this "Make the Ordinary Come Alive" on Facebook yesterday, and it really hit home with me. I think that is probably the very best part of teaching kindergarten -- the opportunity to lead the children to "find the wonder" in ordinary things.
This is the last full week of school -- next week will be a short week with "Water Day" and graduation and the last half day when most of my children will not come, I realized that I still had not taught them about the rocks!! So, although the library is closed now, I went down after the librarian was gone and quietly pulled the best rock book ever "If You Find a Rock"off the shelf and took it to my room without checking it out. (Sorry Mrs. L. -- I brought it back today!) I introduced the topic with "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" -- another of my old favorites. They were very engrossed in the story, but when I told them we were going to find out about rocks, I saw no excitement at all -- in fact, they looked totally bored with the idea. Rocks? Who cares about rocks?
But when I read the story about different kinds of rocks -- skipping rocks, climbing rocks, splashing rocks, a wishing rock, writing rocks, etc. -- and pulled out the treasures from my rock collection -- the excitement started to build. Suddenly everyone wanted to feel the smooth black rock and the chalk rock. The geode was amazing with the beautiful crystals inside the ugly ordinary looking rock. I let each one chose a rock to draw and they wrote a description -- including what made their rock cool.
Now I have to pull them away from the display of rocks -- they crowd around every time they get a chance using the magnifying glass to get a closer look. Some brought in rocks they found at home to show me today.Once again, the ordinary has come alive for them.
Since we studied about insects, it is not unusual to see three or four of them gathered around watching an ant or a pillbug on the playground. Today I saw one on my boys crouched down on the floor studying a beetle that crept into our classroom.
Helping them find the wonder in God's creation is so much fun for me. I come home and tell my husband all about it -- and write a blog about it -- and I am really going to miss that. Their eyes are suddenly open to the wonders of the world around them -- earthworms, clouds, penguins, turtles, insects, leaves, seeds, starfish and rocks -- so many marvels!! Its like the light suddenly turns on and they see these ordinary things in a whole new way. And for me, that is truly EXTRAORDINARY!