Thursday, January 3, 2008

Philosophy/Room 2 News/Puzzle solution


It's tempting to dismiss the writings of a guy like Fred Rogers as kid's stuff, sandbox sayings. I understand that. I enjoy delving into intricacies and nuances in my areas of interest. It's satisfying to travel as far into an intellectual forest as your wits, intuition, and fortitude can take you. You get to pick up nuggets of golden wisdom, stuff them in your knapsack, and later, take them out to share them with your friends.

I've noticed, however, that in emotionally challenging situations, those nuggets of wisdom go out the window. Simpler messages—those sandbox sayings—are more likely to come to mind and serve as guides when I need help. That's why I love wisdom like Mr. Roger's.

Here's one I'd like to share with you:

"In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers."

It was a real revelation to me, years ago, when I realized that as a teacher I didn't have to know all the right answers, or even all the right questions. It's enough to ask questions and really listen to the answers. What a relief to learn that!

Room 2 News

Daycare Improvements

I am pleased to announce that beginning in January Mrs. Frech will be the Dunham Daycare teacher for kindergartners as they bridge the gap between kindergarten dismissal time and dismissal for the rest of the school.

Mrs. Frech will strengthen the continuity between kindergarten and the already very good kindergarten daycare program.

K.I.D.S. Starts January 14

Beginning on January 14, I will start a new program, Kindergarten Increased Daily Schedule, called KIDS for short.

The KIDS program lengthens the school day so that it corresponds to the dismissal time for the rest of the school, 2:30 most days, and 1:30 on Wednesdays. The KIDS program will be similar to last year’s AEA program. I will serve small groups of students and offer additional educational activities appropriate to each group's interests and needs.

More details will follow, as they were not fully worked out before winter vacation.

I hope that all students* will participate in KIDS, by rotating groups of about four students, on a weekly basis, until the entire class has been served. After 7 weeks all students will have been through KIDS.

The remaining weeks, beginning in March and running through May, will be devoted those students who most need additional instruction.

* I request your comments on this. Mrs. Wilding prefers that I serve just the students who need extra help. I prefer to begin by having everyone participate in the KIDS program so that there's a shared sense of ownership and participation among the classroom community. Neither of us, Mrs. Wilding or I, is inflexible in our thinking on this matter, so I am interested to hear your thoughts. Please post a comment here to indicate your preference:

Yes, everyone participates, or

No, just students who need it.

Solution to Last Week's Puzzle

Thanks to all who sent in the correct answer to last week's cryptogram. The answer is:

"Take care of this moment, and you'll take care of all time."

Tiffany was first with the correct answer, but I sent prizes to everyone who answered correctly.

Thanks for participating!

Here comes the rain! Everyone stay cozy.

I'm looking forward to seeing you all on Monday, and I've enjoyed keeping this online newsletter as a way of keeping in touch, if only mentally, with Kindergarten.

Tomorrow look for Aden's page in the Important Book.


culmom37 said...

I think it would be a great idea for all children to have the opportunity to spend extra "one on one" time with you on a 4-1 ratio. Would it be possible to group kids that need help in the same areas be grouped together and those students that can move on a little faster be grouped together (does that make sense). This could also be a good way for children to get an idea of what a full day program will feel like when they enter 1st grade.

SDE said...

I agree that it's a great idea for all the children to be able to participate. I think that as long as those who are there want to be there, it would be beneficial for them.

By the way, I look forward to your posts. They are inspirational and from the heart.

Thank you for putting smiles on our faces.

Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten said...

Thank you, culmom37, and sde, for your input. Yes, the kids will be grouped according to their placement so that we can get the maximum benefit from the small group.


Anonymous said...

yes, everybody participates... as long as they want to. of course i dont know too many kids who are not willing to stay a little longer in "gurneyland", "one on one" time to help the transition to firt grade will be a big help i think. thanks for the opportunity.

hmartin said...

I think it's a good idea to leave the program optional for all kids...:o)) Thanks for asking Mr. Gurney!!!