One of my educational heroes is Kerry Gallagher, better known by her Twitter name KerryHawk02. Before I go any further, please take a minute and both follow her on Twitter and subscribe to her website Start with a Question because she is THAT amazing! Okay, done? Good, now I can continue.
Kerry is an excellent writer and she recently posted something that really hit me. She wrote about the experience of her first grader coming home and telling her that her stomach ached because she got a 90. What? Why is a first grader worried about grades?
Here's my favorite line in the whole post:
"The thing is, I have an expertise at being a mother of two little girls who are just starting school–one is in first grade and the other is in preschool. My daughters’ game of choice is "playing school" with a little easel and some books and paper and a class made up of dolls and stuffed animals. They teach through singing, drawing, and encouragement. They build in rest time and quick chats with the pretend parents who pick up their stuffed animal students at the end of the day. It's funny how my 4 and 7 year olds have intuitively picked up the parts of a learner's day that have the greatest impact. They know that music, hands-on activities, and positive interpersonal connections help create an environment where learners can thrive."
I love that her daughters just know instinctively which parts of a school day are the most effective for learning. And yet, how many of us professional teachers forget those simple, yet effective pieces to the puzzle? Do yourself a favor and go read the rest of this great post by Kerry.