Saturday, 9 February 2013

Choices and Carpet. Who knew?

Wow. Been away from writing here for a bit.  It happens I suppose.   I tend to write when worlds smash into each other,  as they are prone to do on twitter.   I could write about a million things my  #kinderchat family has inspired,  which is probably why I have written about none.  But @MmeKathleen wrote about choices today.  You should read it, it is awesome.  And two things stuck with me. 

So. My last post about rethinking calendar was written in August.  During that shiny brilliant time a few days before school starts and you can do anything!  Before you get in the class and discover this or that, or somebody or something.  This year it was a new smartboard that kiboshed everything.  My lovely, engaging year long calendar struggles to find its place as I struggle to make this expensive piece of technology fit into my Kinder’s world, a world that I fill with tangents.  I am getting there. But slowly.  

I do not intend to write about the SmartBoard. That would be a tangent : )   I intend to write about carpet.  Not carpet time, not morning meeting, not circle time.  

Carpet.  I said you should read @MmeKathleen post.   #kinderchat often speaks of Reggio inspired spaces, and I have spent a couple of years toning my room to cork, browns, tans, wood.  It is not easy.  Seems every I-can-afford-it storage system, cupboard, shelf shouts color.  But I try.   

The one piece in my room that most frustrated me was the carpet I have had for 3 years in my room. We call it the colorful carpet.  For obvious reasons.   

There is no discernible pattern, it is busy for your eyes, and of course, it has been thrown up on. #pukealert indeed #kinderchat.   

But it has become one of the richest tools for learning my classroom can offer.  

Sitting on the Fat Black line allows my k’s to be a part of a community where everyone can see everything.  

We use a bigger frame to see who is here and who is not. We know the full array of 4 4’s means that stupid flu bug didn't get one of us today.  We build 5 and 10 frames, and we subitize and visualize what is missing.  We use it as author’s row, and YIKES,  stay back! Be safe! spots.  

And the small squares.  OH the tedious busy small squares?  They are magic : ) 

We finger draw in a box and the carpet makes our fingers tingle. 

We measure ourselves to see if we were smaller than a Santa Elf. Or bigger than a Snowman’s Nose.

We explore capacity - fill it full, count it, compare it.  We compare apples to apples and eagle’s wings to hand spans.   It is not always magical.  Sometimes it is just a carpet. A soft place to Read to Stuffie in your PJs.   

So.  It will always be a part of my class.   Puke or glitter, busy or not,  it stays.  

I guess it is good when something sticks it’s ugly mug in your face and says “Deal with me.”  I guess some obstacles make us think, rethink, explore. See things in a new way. If we choose to.  

Choices and Carpet.  Who knew? 

Crap.  Does that mean I need to rethink my Smartboard?  Heavy Sigh.  
Bring it on : )