We didn’t have the best of days yesterday. There were some moments that “worked” and some that didn’t. Ditto for my students. Some worked, some are still on vacation. But we’ll try it again today, and tomorrow, and again next week.
Kindergarten is all a matter of wash, rinse, repeat. Present the concept, demonstrate it, let the students try it. Present the concept in a slightly different way, demonstrate it again, let the students practice it. Over and over and over…verbally, visually, physically until it becomes the foundation for another concept or skill. Of course there are many concepts and skills that must be taught or reviewed each day because we have to eventually master about 300 of them before the year is over. And with different student skill levels and learning styles to consider I have my hands full keeping everyone on task. This is why chocolate was created!
Some children respond quite well to the idea that they have time to try and practice and try again. Others are of the opinion that mastery is either immediate or simply unattainable. Their life experience has apparently not included a lot of “do-overs”.
These children soon learn there are two things you don’t want to tell Mrs. Maurer: “I don’t want to.” or “I can’t.”
My reply to the first is usually “I don’t remember giving you a choice.”
My reply to the second is usually “Of course you can’t. If you could already do this you’d be in first grade!” or “Of course you can’t. If you could already do this I wouldn’t have a job!”
Those statements…and let’s face facts…MOST of what I say, elicits the “deer in the headlights” look from my students. But with a little coxing and encouragement most begin to understand that kindergarten is about practice, not perfection.
So…a less than wonderful day doesn’t bother me. And it doesn’t bother most of my students. We’ll just meet on the mat again today and see what happens!