Community and our role in the community is a key aspect of my classroom. We visit nursing homes, we take part in Coastal Clean-ups and especially around this time of year, the conversation includes helping out those that don't have all the great things we have. For Thanksgiving we bake pies for a few local families, we made 8 this year. And for Christmas we have a toy drive for local families. All the while there is an ongoing conversation about why we take on these types of projects. If there is any spare time in the day the children usually make cards or gifts for the Nursing Home or the toy collection box. This is the back story.
|Half of the pies we made for Thanksgiving.|
It was the first class of the day and Dan really wanted to go play in the block room. Dan has a difficult time when it comes to cleaning up the blocks so before heading to the block room we had a discussion and he promised me, he would clean up the blocks. I had my doubts and sure enough, when it came time to clean he was not cooperating. It was indoor recess yesterday and for indoor recess many of the children went upstairs to play in the block room, Dan eagerly followed. I stopped him halfway up the stairs and told him that he was not able to go to the block room since he did not clean up earlier in the day. ( I thought to myself, this is a great lesson, maybe he will make the connection. As all teachers feel, I felt that I proved my point!) For a moment Dan hung his head and looked sad as he walked down the stairs and then he said,
"Fine, I will just work in the wood-shop and make gifts for poor people."
Sidenote- In my classroom I don't use the term poor during our discussions- it is more a conversation about just being kind to people at all times of the year. And like I said earlier, children don't usually sugar coat things-they say what they think.