Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sing.... sing a song..... sing it loud......

One of my favorite, syrupy sweet, amazing moments of each day:

As the children gather on the carpet, in a circle around the rocker in which I sit, they usually smile up at me or at each other. Because the kids know they have the option to move to their desk rather than participate, the ones who choose to remain often have a great attitude! I break into song-- me and my craggy, unpolished voice- and the kids don't mind. They welcome the comfort of the routine, even if I sound more like an American Idol reject.

Good morning to you!
Good morning to you!
Good morning dear children!
Good morning to you!

Part of the success of this activity is the idea that children themselves choose if they will participate. They have a viable substitute activity ("Read or draw at your desk."), and their choice is generally honored. This respect for kids' preferences lays the foundation for a respectful classroom climate. Class meeting itself is a respectful, thoughtful activity; it just feels right to listen to and act on children's ideas about their own ability to join in.

This morning four of the five children were present at circle time. As I sang my little ditty, I patted each of them on the arm or the head, and was so tickled with the eye contact and bright smiles with which I was rewarded. At moments like these, I feel like the luckiest teacher in the world.

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