Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stepping Aside

They say you don't really know something until you've taught it.

That's true, and it applies to kindergarten. Savannah and Isabella demonstrated their knowledge of all 40 of the Soundabet words a couple of days ago. So I asked them to test Katrina who I was pretty sure would breeze through it.

She did, of course. Actually Katrina proved her ability with all the King's Queen's, Boy, and Teacher cards, an unprecedented four milestones passed in just one day. It's an example of getting out of the way as a teacher and allowing competencies to pass from kid to kid, unimpeded by adult interference.

In a similar way, I step aside to allow Wyatt (from 3rd grade) to help serve up the snack. He does this task with an interest, enthusiasm, sense of purpose, and satisfaction far beyond my capabilities. He's was away, sick, Tuesday and Wednesday, and I really missed him.

finally, in my section of Kindergarten buddies, I had the fifth graders help the kindergartners find out how many words they could write down in about 20 minutes. They worked so well together. Here's Jordan helping Katrina:

And here you can see what Justin accomplished.

Life is good in kindergarten!


Anonymous said...

Life is good in kindergarten!

Dan, what a great post!

loved it,


Anonymous said...

I agree - great post! One of my greatest joys, is watching my boys teach each other. This type of interaction is fascinating to watch. As you know Dan, that's how Brenden learned to read so early. Kaden taught him by using the Soundabet cards. I sure if we (his parents) sat down, forcing him to learn, he may not have been so thrilled about reading. Having his brother teach him probably made it really interesting for him. Glad you can get some extra help in the classroom, with the older students there.

The Honorable Mention said...

The student becomes the teacher and the teacher becomes the student....great post, Dan.

Dan Gurney said...

Thanks, Todd! Keep spreading kindness, my ukulele friend.

Dan Gurney said...

Thanks, Barbra.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi Amy. Sometimes I think the biggest obstacle in learning is the teacher himself. We tend to get the idea that the learning has to come out of us. (I guess because we're paid to be there.) But an awful lot of the learning going on in any school from Sunday School to Stanford, preschool to Princeton, is happening student-to-student.