Learning is much more than the final product. It is about the experience.
School is much more than learning content. It’s about finding ways to connect our passions, interests and wonders with our learning, loving learning and truly learning HOW to learn.
Life is much more than finishing first with everything done ‘perfectly’. It’s about getting messy, laughing, flying kites in the rain, having adventures and celebrating each other.
Learning, school, technology, life are all HUGE parts of my everyday and I believe they are all connected and all really one. I believe we must be following learner’s interest and passions to create rich learning experiences and in turn, foster a love of learning. Finding ways for everyone to feel successful is a number one focus for me. As is, creating opportunities for learners to learn, grow, fail, persist and truly develop skills that support them learning independently and learning past our buildings. Technology is just another piece of this overall puzzle and overarching goal in our kindergarten learning environment. Technology is everyday, but it is connected, meaningful, used to stretch our learning further and make our thinking visible.
For the past month we have been inquiring about kites. We have learned about structures, different styles of kites, materials, shapes, problem solving, collaboration, prototypes, design planning and stages, friendship, making memories, and singing our hearts out to Mary Poppins’ ‘Let’s go Fly a Kite’.
Today, our learning shifted, furthered and we were challenged, when our Kite celebratory fly at Clover Point just so happen to be during a down poor and wind crazed time! Within about 20 minutes forty summer dressed kindergartners got off the bus, listened to expectations, each had an individual photo taken with their kite, flew their kite, backpacks were hauled back on the bus by parents to keep them dry, some kites tangled, others had strings come off, ribbons flew into the ocean, and before you knew it forty soggy kindergartners got back on the bus.
As we struggled to get everyone all back on the bus, wiping tears, piling up broken and dripping wet kites we knew we had to flip this around, quicker than ever. I started off by saying, touch your nose if you thought today’s kite flying experience was 10/10 awesome!! Almost all of them touched their noses…. but then again they almost all raise their hands before any question is even asked… BUT! They were all touching their noses with huge smiles on their faces. So we didn’t really need to flip it around for them, it was more us (adults) that were concerned. We then talked about how this type of experience is all part of designing and creating, how things don’t always go smoothly and work out the first time, that we have to keep trying and persisting and reminded them that it was not just about this fly, it was about the special learning steps of becoming kite experts and creating. This was a great learning moment. Something that was disappointing, cold and wet, could have been quickly chalked up to be a negative time or experience; however, to five year olds it was a bit of a cold time but it was also very special and SO important! As the bus started to drive back to school, one little girl turned and shared… “don’t worry we can start making kites again after lunch!!”
This brings us back to the creating opportunities piece. These opportunities, for me, need to build on learner interest, showcase their passions, put everyone in leadership roles where they feel successful as learners. Learners need to be working with others to build and develop skills that will carry them through with their learning past our four walls.
And, you have got to love a five year old’s mentality…A parent shared, via email, that her daughter said “I am thankful that it was raining and windy today, because even though it was wet it wasn’t that cold and it was a big adventure!”