Friday Two Cents: Awaking Joy In Creative Expression And Knowledge


As the second week of me working in the grade 1 class came to an end, I believe the students and I are getting the hang of the new routine. I am trying to keep as much of the students routine they had with the other teacher but I am adding a few of my own touches.

One thing I introduced is a story time where I read a story picture book but I only read a few pages every day. They are large, colourful books that have about 100 pages. I have many Disney story books that fit this description and the students are familiar with many of these stories. I also have a bookmark that I use to mark where we left off. Every day I would read a few pages until Friday when I would finish off the story.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

This week we read “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, the story seen in the original 1940 Fantasia. Many haven’t seen this piece and it was not too long for a first book. Every day I read a few pages and I would ask the students to predict what would happen next in the story. Many had some imaginative ideas but most came very close to what would happen next in the story. Every morning and even once or twice in the afternoon I was asked when I would continue the story.
I thought this is a wonderful way to introduce longer stories to them then they are used to and for them to know that they can read longer books. All they need is a bookmark to mark were they left off. The nice thing is that one student wanted my bookmark after I finished reading the book, however I suggested if they wanted they could make their own bookmark during their free time. I have a few strips of paper I use for making notes, the perfect size of a bookmark. I gave them one and then one by one the students wanting to make their own bookmarks too. Many even got some yarn to make tassels.

Student’s bookmark

But I think the clincher was when I told them that at the end of Friday I would show them the video of the original “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from the original 1940 Fantasia, but only if they were good. Of course they were and just before the end of the day we watched the 9-minute video. They were enthralled, not one of them talked during the 9 minutes. And even though it is all music they never said anything about it not having words. They were so excited by it; many asked what story I was bringing in next week. I told them they had to wait and see. They were mildly disappointed but they smiled and I think they knew that was going to be my answer.
Amazing. Simply bringing in a book to read over the week helped the students get introduced to longer books they could enjoy over days, inspire creativity in making bookmarks and enthusiasm for reading. That’s why I love being a teacher. I guess Albert Einstein was right when he said …

 

 

‘It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.’ Albert Einstein

 

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Friday Two Cents: George Helping With A Lesson


twoCentsOldNew_George

    No matter how many times I see it, I am always amazed at the reaction my puppets get in a class of students.

In the kindergarten class I am in, I have used my puppet George to help teach lessons, do learning circle or a read-a-loud. The students are always engaged and focused on what George has to say. I even do songs and the motions with him and it gets them moving along with him. As well, I have been talking to the students about bringing in my Mufasa puppet with little baby Simba. Well today I finally brought them in.  

I used them as an example for the students on why Mufasa, as the adult lion, may have some rules for little Simba. I asked the students why do they think why Mufasa has these rules for Simba. A few raised their hands and their response was that Mufasa wanted to keep Simba safe. I wanted the students to see and hear Mufasa when I asked him, ‘If Simba broke the rules and you are upset with him, does that mean you do not like Simba or that you will always be upset with him.’ Mufasa said, “No, even though Simba may have broken a rule or did something wrong, I will never stop caring for him.

photo 2

Mufasa with little Simba

 I extended it by agreeing with Mufasa saying to the students that, ‘Even though you may break a rule and the teacher and I may be upset or disappointed, that does not mean we will always feel that way towards them. The adults in the class, the teacher and myself, are there to help them and care for them and that rules in the class are there to help keep them safe.’ Some students even smiled at that.

photo 4

Little Simba, Mufasa and George

I continued the lesson with a read-a-load with the story “How full is your bucket?” George introduced it and they were very attentive. Even though we have a number of very young junior kindergarten students, they listened and participated. George was able to introduce the book and after I continued with the idea of filling the bucket. Students as well referenced the filling my bucket metaphor at different points in the day.

Amazing how something as simple as a puppet can be used for so much good.

Hi Everyone!!! My Name is George!!!

Hi Everyone!!! My Name is George!!!

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