Catalysts

Plagues are bad, don’t get me wrong, and I don’t like it when kids get sick.  But, amazing things happen in classes when half of the kids are away.  The pace slows, the pressure retreats, and we find that all of a sudden we are seeing things we’ve never seen before.  The absence of so many children forces those who are left into new social situations; when they play with new people they learn new things.  Some kids seem to be particularly good at this business of finding ways to push other children’s learning forward.

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“A” is one of those children.  While she is very advanced in terms of her thinking and her learning, she is happy scaffolding and thinking aloud while bringing others into her play – in fact, she seems to enjoy the mentoring process.  In this picture, she has led the creation of a ramp for cars.  The pieces don’t fit exactly, so they keep having to adjust the angles, otherwise the cars will fall off.  “A” helps the other children to figure out how to place the pieces and persuades them to try new strategies and ideas.

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In this picture, she’s helping another child to better understand representational play, showing her how to use the little bears to create a narrative and gently reminding her about the flow of the story.  Image

Representing and re-telling familiar stories together.

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And on another day, working at the light table.

I’m not wishing for another plague but I am grateful for the silver lining.

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