Tuesday, February 26, 2013

We Like to Move It, Move It

The fun thing about kindergarten is they have boundless energy. 

The hard thing about kindergarten is they have boundless energy. 

(True story: if they don't get up, move around and act silly the first thing we do is check their temp.  Because my people are ready to sing and dance at the drop of a hat.  I guess it should be drop of a pencil since we never drop hats in the room but plenty of pencils. But I digress...)

Every 45 minutes or so we take a movement break. 

As I am so very fortunate to have a projector in my room, whenever we need a quick break we just tune into Youtube and find the perfect song.  It may sometimes be the chicken dance, the hokey pokey or Cupid shuffle. 

This week I'm loving this off of Just Dance 4:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zpymfdBLDPY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Between the melodrama of the song and the wrestlers it works perfectly.  Trust me.  (When all the boys in your class are saying, "I'm that one!" you know you've picked a winner.)  The kids are all sorts of engaged and you cannot help but hide a chuckle over the whole affair. 

If you need a quick movement break for your room, my go to site is this playlist.  I love since it's all kids, I'm not worried about the lyrics or costumes. 

And what classroom would be complete with Mario? 

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OgKJDlMrSgI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

(Bonus points if you hear that music and it takes you back to your own elementary days.)

Hope your people enjoy these as much as mine!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Educating in the Bible Belt

I live in Kentucky, where we worship Jesus and basketball.

As a teacher, this can lead to some very interesting conversations and totally make your day. 
Cases in point:

A few weeks ago my classroom neighbor was teaching when a shadow darkened her door.  It was our principle.  All the K kids have an unspoken promise to do something unbelievable when the principle is watching.  And today was no exception.

My friend continues to do her writing lesson, which is so quiet you could hear a pin drop (or the wheels turning in their heads).  The stillness is broken by a sweet little girl jumping out of her seat, waving her arms wildly and saying loudly, "Stop!! Stop!! I have a message from God!"

Everyone, principle included, turns to look at Precious.  Now that she has the floor, she is not yielding to anyone (a la television evangelist).  With the same mixture of drama and sincerity she says, "God says those at the front of the line will be the last.  And those at the back of the line will be in the front of the line."  (When I heard this story, I knew right away she was referring to this Bible verse.  Her Sunday School teacher would be so proud.)

Every now and then something happens that presents a problem to my friend.  My friend, a seasoned veteran, was uncertain how to proceed after this exchange.  Enter her assistant, who is all awesome, who smiles at the girl and says, "Hallelujah!"  and my friend says, "Amen" and they continued the writing lesson with no further messages.

Which brings me to my class.  Last Thursday, we were visiting the restroom.  I had all my students in the hall except three girls in the restroom.  As I walk by to tell them shake a leg sweetly encourage them to get in line I walk in the restroom.  As the three who were still inside are rule followers, I wondered what on earth could deter them from following directions. 

So I step in and hear the three of them.  Talking about baptizing each other.  In the sink. 

There's lots of debate about the place of God in the schools, and these stories illustrate you can ban the adults from talking about Him all you want, but the kids will pick up the slack.

In one form or another.