Saturday, March 12, 2016

SOLSC #12 What should our world look like?

During the month of March, I am participating in
the Slice of Life Story Challenge.
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day for thirty-one days. My slices will be primarily about teaching preschoolers.
Check out the Two Writing Teachers website for many more reflections on teaching.


A note from a colleague, who lucked into a peer observation in my room on Friday morning, when we were having an absolutely delightful morning:

"Thanks for having me! I love the warm learning environment, and all the wonderful play, magic and love in this classroom."
Building with Magna Tiles

The zoo

Fridays really are the best day of the week, and yesterday's was above and beyond. The children's play has been replicating their city lives, and I watched a virtual city arise in our classroom - with some fantastical, magical, fictional details thrown in the mix. We dragged the cardboard castle and house to the carpet where we build with blocks and I suspect this was the catalyst for the city that grew all around it. Magna Tiles and small cars were used on one table, where focused builders created "lines of houses with parking garages" (rowhouses, to my eye) and a batcave (Batman has to be nearby) and a big store for shopping. There was a fervent attempt to make roads, but these would be broken up and changed into new structures. From the table to the floor, there were ramps leading to "a super highway, where the cars go really really fast and crash and go again." On the carpet, children worked very hard and patiently to create  a large, detailed zoo. In the sensory table, they worked with sand and gems and pronounced it "a cake-making place, I mean a bakery!" Over by the large windows, I found two preschoolers lying on cloths, and they explained they were at the beach. 
Doctors getting ready for work

The piece de resistance of the city - from my perspective - was the veterinarian hospital. Preschoolers collected all of the stuffed animals in the classroom and created the many beds for the sick animals in the shelving of the dramatic play stove, refrigerator, sink. For some reason, this really made me chuckle. They had toy stethoscopes, medicine, and shots to dispense. Preschool writers were employed to make signs, asking me how to spell 'veterinarian.' (I regret that I did not take a photo of the hospital warning sign they dreamed up, with help from teachers on individual words - "Don't take animal before they fix it") There was a great deal of work. One harried doctor exclaimed, "We're having trouble with the animals, they don't like the medicine."

Can you see the animals in this stove hospital?

The entire morning was good medicine for me, as I watched preschoolers immersed in play, working so beautifully with one another, showing flexibility, imagination, and joy.


  1. My favourite thing: Don't take animal before they fix it" What a great piece of advice. This brightened my morning!

  2. Carrie took my favorite too, but it's such a joy to hear your stories, Maureen. I know it's been a messy & tough week on the outside, so to see the children so creatively playing must be like one big hug for your weekend. Thanks like I always say, for taking time to share your wonderful kids and classroom.