Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012 Listening

It was a thrill to come back to kindergarten and catch up with my roomful of five and six year old friends. Many of them wanted to tell me about their spring vacations. Nathan and Aidan went to Hawaii. A number went to the mountains to play in the snow. Most vacationed close to home, like me. Everyone had a lot to tell me and I enjoyed listening to their reports.

All but one of our usual Monday parent volunteers were unable to stay today, so I opted to skip our instructional centers today in favor of a more relaxed schedule that included the #1 priority item on any kindergartner's agenda: TIME TO PLAY. Instead of centers, students could select the activities they found purposeful. This more relaxed schedule gave me the opportunity to absorb their stories from last week. The class showed its appreciation of having this play time by cleaning up thoroughly and speedily when I played the clean up music. Raegan, Emily, Kayla Sue, and Olivia were particularly helpful about putting things away and cleaning up. We all thanked them.


Listening is the Toolbox Project tool of the week. We will hear stories about listening and learn what it means to listen attentively with ears, eyes, and heart. The Listening Tool is one of the most important tools in the Toolbox, so we will devote some time to learning about attentive listening.

You already know that listening can require quite a lot of effort. Attentive listening is usually hard work—especially hard when we're feeling stressed, frustrated, or angry. When that happens it is good to give yourself a "time-in" or to use the Quiet Place Tool for a little break. That said, I find it useful to remind myself that listening almost always requires less effort than NOT listening. Even though listening can be a lot of work, in the end, listening is less work than having to pick up the pieces after not listening.


It appears that we may in for a spell of welcome wet weather. Luckily for us today it didn't rain on "green shirt" Monday. We were able to put our fleet of bikes and trikes to good use. A number of kindergartners took particular interest in the bars. I was pleased to help Vanessa and Diana learn how to slide down the pole without needing anyone's help. Here's a pair of photos I took:

Jessica helped show them how to slide down the pole.

Emily and Raegan are good at the bars.

Be well!


Alicia Petersen said...

Sorry about this morning. Spencer and I had a meeting with Adam. Looks like I wasn't the only one with a place to be! It's so great that you turn something frustrating like that into something positive and almost stress releasing instead of stress producing!
Again, sorry about that.

Dan Gurney said...

No worries! Like you say, it was stress reducing. It was just what the kids needed.

It actually went so well that after the fact I wondered why I didn't plan it like that to begin with.

It was just the best way to start the spring phase of kindergarten.

Alicia Petersen said...

Everything happens for a reason :-)