Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Lesson I Keep Learning

The way our summer schedule works is that we start our days with station-based free play, transition into a circle time, then break out again into "activities" which are essentially 3 new free play stations that I've made exciting and glamorous by previewing them at the end of circle time, usually to a chorus of "I'm doing that!" and "I'm going to do all of them!"

"Cozy Story Time" has become something of the surprise "activities" hit of the summer. We throw down a couple gym mats, dump out a big pile of stuffed animals, and start reading stories. We've tried some version of this every summer, but this is the first time we've brought the stuffies outside. 

It's a multi-aged group, 2-6 years old. A lot of what goes on in the outdoor classroom each day involves the younger kids being sucked in behind the older kids, which is how it ought to work. It's usually the younger kids, however, who are drawn to our cozy story time. I'm guessing that's due at least in part to the fact that it can be exhausting to keep up with the big kids all day and this is a nice break from having to "step up." 

Sometimes an adult reads, sometimes the kids "read" on their own -- outside in a big pile of stuffies. There are a lot of activities that you just can't do indoors, but there is nothing you can't do outdoors. It's a lesson I keep learning.

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Michaele Sommerville said...

Love this idea, and suspect my kindergartners would too. They get to bring a stuffed friend each day for the first two weeks of "transition" (half day program), but then typically wean themselves off until the entire school participates in some sort of theme day later in the year. I'm betting they'd love something like Friendly Friday, when they could bring their stuffed animals to spend the day working at centers, reading, creating, playing, etc.


woodenspade said...

Isn't it amazing what changing one small little thing can do? They just love having their little furry friends . . .

Laurie Dyer

Maryland Math Tutor said...

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Thanks for such a great post