We had the most amazing discussion this morning. I told the children that a great leader had passed away this morning, and that he was from our state of Maryland. I told them about how Elijah Cummings had bottles thrown at him when he was a kid and was called very bad names when he and a friend would try and go to the swimming pool in their community. I told them how they weren't allowed to swim in the big pool and weren't treated the same as others. We discussed how he was an African American and that he had dark skin and because of that, he was not treated fairly and that people were often unkind to him, but that he didn't let it change how he treated others. He was kind, polite, empathetic and worked all his life to make our country a better place for all people no matter where they came from, what language they spoke, what color their skin was or any other differences. One of our little friend said he knew another leader. He named one of the Ninja Turtles, which now I can't remember which one he said was the leader. Other kids "piggybacked" on what he said and talked about other super heroes who were leaders. Then another friend said he watched Mulan on Netflix, but it's not on Netflix anymore, and that there was a leader of China in that movie but the bad guys were trying to get him and Mulan saved him. So I asked, was Mulan a hero? Most agreed she was, but a few were on the fence. Which then led to a discussion of how Mulan was a girl but pretended to be a boy so she could be in the army, which then led to a brief discussion of how girls weren't always allowed to do the same things as boys, and how in some places that is still the way things are. It's a good thing we didn't have a special this morning because I would have hated to have to stop this discussion. It's the 31st day of school I think, and they are already listening to each other, piggybacking on what others say, and making connections to what they already knew. This class! I am going to savor every minute with them!
A million years ago, when I was in undergraduate school, I remember my social studies methods professor had one class session devoted to difficult topics and how to discuss them with young children. He said it wasn't enough time to discuss this topic, but shared a few ideas. These days we could have a whole course in this, but what I think is important is that we take time to discuss difficult topics like inequalities of the past and present and be honest about it. We have been talking about leaders, and today sadly presented a change in who I was going to talk about in social studies, but was instead guided by the children in their discussion.
To honor Elijah Cummings, we listened to jazz music today. I remember recently hearing that after a particularly difficult day someone asked him what he was going to do when he went home, and he said listen to some jazz. It seemed only fitting that we listened to some jazz.
In reading, we talked about what a glossary is and where to find it in information texts. We found words in the glossary in bold print in the book we were using, and tomorrow will find them on our own in texts.
In math we continued to work with counting, writing equations, and learning about counting on from five. The children are doing well with ten frames and recognizing dots on a ten frame when shown quickly. They are becoming quite good at subitizing.
We listened to one of my favorite stories for our Book a Day Challenge called Love is My Favorite Thing, by Emma Chichester Clark. This story is about a dog named Plum who is still learning self-control. She knows what not to do, but has a hard time stopping herself from doing it. Ask me to tell you some of the things Plum did in the story. Plum has to go to her bed and is alone, in the dark after an especially bad choice Plum made. She wants to know if her owners still love her. Ask me to tell you how the story ends. This is a great book to add to your family collection if you don't already have it because it gives you the opportunity to tell your little ones again that you are still going to love them, even when they make mistakes or make the wrong choice. We know learning better self-control doesn't happen overnight, but what isn't going to change is the love we have for them.
We had a very happy delivery of a box of a box for books from the Book Fair. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to our classroom library. We looked at the covers of all the books and can't wait to read them. Thank-you for your generosity and kindness. It is truly appreciated by me and my little friends!
Have a nice evening!
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Miss Juliet Wolfe