New ‘tradition’ at Knollwood
With all of the changes in the curriculum, teachers and students are looking for ways to bring fun into the classroom. It is hard for most parents and teachers of kindergarten students to give up the “holiday parties” and activities of the past, but it is important to create new traditions around the current curriculum.
I have had the pleasure to participate in a new tradition the last two years. At Knollwood on the 100th day of school, we encouraged our kindergarteners to visualize what they will look like at 100 years old and then dress up. Our children are learning about past, present and future.
The goal is for them to understand how things change over time, especially themselves. Today we had over half the children and staff in kindergarten participate. My students were able to explain why they dressed the way they did and they were so cute.
One of the best things that happened was learning more about my students and the way they think. To hear my “kindergarteners” debate was wonderful. After an hour of acting, I finally let them give me reasons why they believed I was “Mrs. Bostian.” I was astonished at how observant they were.
One child said, “Your rings. Those are the rings you wear everyday.”
Another child said, “Your shoes. You just got them last week, and I heard you tell Ms. Wilkie how comfortable they are.”
I even had one mention my nail polish I have on.
The whole experience let me see a new side to them. I had the opportunity to see a child who typically gets in trouble offer to help me. I was then able to praise him, and when he found out I “tricked him,” I could again let him know how proud I was of him.
As a teacher in the 21st century, where technology is the driving force but higher level thinking is the goal, I hope that other teachers will get the chance to make new traditions based around their curriculum to engage students. We all know that when it looks fun, it usually is fun!
Katie Bostian is a kindergarten teacher at Knollwood Elementary.
The names of the teachers and teacher assistants in the picture are the following from left to right: Katie Bostian, Kinda Silas, Sharon DeRhodes, Paula Wilkie, Cindy Bernhardt, Michelle Fite and Penny Cannon.