Sunday, August 29, 2010

I'm So Glad I Asked

Assuming is not always good, especially with little children.  So many times we assume that we understand what they need or want or are trying to say....but more times than not, we don't know until we ask.   Every time I take the extra minute and ask why? or inquire a little more with my kindergarteners I am pleasantly surprised.  So many times kindergarteners seem to say things that are completely unrelated or off topic.  But if you ask a few questions, they will explain how they reached that point.

Most recently in math, we have been working on attributes and sorting.  After some whole group discussion and work I sent the kids to their tables to work with manipulatives and sort.  They could decide on the attribute they would use to sort.  As I walked around the room, I could see who obviously got it and who obviously did not.  As I stopped to work with those who were confused and made my way around I encountered a student who is very bright and very "with it" but appeared to be making long lines of random colored cubes.  There were 2 different colors in one line and several different colors in the other lines.  I stopped and knelt down and said, "Tell me how you are sorting and the attribute you chose."  She responded, "I am sorting kinds of colors.  These are the dark colors, these are the medium colors and these are the light colors."  I smiled and was so impressed, and was so glad I asked.

Sorting kinds of colors-light colors, medium colors, dark colors
I was also able to learn more about another student.  He was making stacks of colored unifix cubes.  I could have assumed that he was sorting by colors, marked it in my notes and moved on.  But I am so glad that I didn't.  I asked him to tell me about his work and he said, "I was going to sort these colors but then I decided to make small buildings and tall buildings and then sort the buildings and the attribute is how tall they are."  Wow!  I love hearing all of their thinking and reasoning.   So, once again, I'm so glad I asked!

sorting tall buildings and short buildings
Such amazing kids and I'm looking forward to a year of endless possibilities!


  1. Awesome awesome! I felt like I was right there with you and was reliving the times we used the cubes and manipulatives for patterns. I miss your room so much. You are an awesome teacher. I may not comment much; however, I have read every new post since I found it. I'm loving reading the awesome work you are doing in the ministry God has given you!

  2. Thanks so much, Valerie. You are so sweet! I say it all of the time, how lucky am I to spend each day working at something that I know God intends me to do....what He created me to be. Truly a blessing! I miss you-STILL! There are many times that I, I wish Valerie was here! Seriously, if I won the Lottery....I would find a way to pay you a generous salary to come and be my co-teacher. :) We make a great team. You are such a great teacher and such a great person! Come visit soon!! Love you, friend!

  3. Great post, Mel. We all need to be reminded to listen to children and ask those good open-ended question like "Why?". When I do I always (well, most of the time) hear something interesting. Good job. Can't wait for the next post.

  4. THanks so much, Cheryl! I hope your weekend has been great!