Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Adorable things that make me think

It goes without saying -- one of the best parts of teaching kindergarten is the cute things they say. It's the reward, the silver lining, we all get for teaching a grade that somedays is like chasing a bunch of headless chickens. Their cute words are more than cute though. They hold such innocence, such insight into the eyes of a child, and occasionally, such knowledge. 

One thing I love about the cute things kinders say is the way they can make me think. I know, it sounds strange. But, every once in a while, my little ones say something that doesn't just make me laugh, but makes me really reflect on life, teaching, or just the way a five-year-old thinks.

But, just to be fair, there are things they say that are just meaningless and hilarious. 

I thought I'd share a couple of the "thought-provoking" cute quotes I've heard lately.


Student: "Mrs. Anderson, what letter does your phone number start with?"

This one just made me chuckle. Maybe because he even said the word number in the sentence. However, this little saying just reminds us -- whether it's a number or a letter, it's really just a bunch of lines. Honestly. Two vertical, parallel lines with a connecting horizontal line really doesn't say the /h/ sound. They are simply a symbol that represents that sound -- something decided by our language and culture long ago. And what exactly about a straight line down represents the quantity of one? Nothing. 

Just a little thought that reminded me that our little ones are not only learning a confusing language everyday, but are also working with completely meaningless symbols that adults insist have innate meaning. They don't. They have meaning because we assign meaning to them and we, as adults, have lived our whole lives simply accepting these meaningless symbols. Five- and six-year-olds don't automatically assign meaning to symbols, nor do their brains automatically accept these claims. A beginning student sees a number or letter for what it really is -- just a bunch of lines. So, no. I didn't correct him. I giggled and answered his question without hesitation. 


Mrs. A: "Okay boys and girls, we are going to brainstorm a list of as many habitats as we can." (We have been learning all about animal habitats this week.)
Students begin listing habitats, such as dessert, jungle, grassland, farm, etc.
Mrs. A: "I'm thinking of a habitat where a polar bear lives. Or a penguin. The arc.... arc....."
Student: "Architect!"

Ha! This was just cute. Man, he was trying so hard. And the pride that lit up his face was priceless. He was incredibly proud, and probably amazed, by his important-sounding answer. I just laughed. What a great attempt. I mean, what else could we expect out of him? It started with the right sound, it sure sounded like a fancy science word, and it's definitely a "grown-up word." It's amazing how many words our little ones know, even if they don't use them appropriately. Remember moms and dads... those little ears are always listening, even when they don't appear to be.


Oh, the innocence of kindergarten. More coming soon...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by!