Room 1 in the Family Center
April has begun! It has brought cool winds, some flowers and showers. The children and teachers have been so excited to get outside without snow pants. They have loved watching how the wind blows the bubbles up high and how it is an amazing thing that moves your hair but you can not see it! The flaxseed was a material the children really enjoyed. It offered Room 1 friends an amazing full-body sensory experience. It is so small and had such a smooth feeling. Some friends scooped big cups full while others picked up one tiny seed at a time. Some friends found hidden frogs in the flax while others pretended it was coffee. Room 1 friends know how to make the best “coffee.” During circle the children have loved singing “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed,” “If You Are Happy and You Know It” and “If You Are Sad and You Know It.” Favorite books have been Maria Had a Little Llama, Chomp, and Water Hole.
Sharing is Learning
Young children have a hard time understanding the concept of sharing. As is developmentally appropriate they are egocentric—that is, they are at a stage where they view themselves as the center of the world and they see the world only from their own perspective. They do not easily see the viewpoint of another person.
As teachers, we help children practice seeing and understanding other’s viewpoints. Sharing is a learned behavior. We provide opportunities to practice this skill during the day. We try to help children to learn to express their feelings and understand the feelings of others. At the same time, we do not shame any child for not sharing. It is tricky business and the children in Room 1 are trying so hard to figure it out.
To foster sharing in Room 1 we have toys that promote cooperation such as blocks, the water table, and legos. When two children want to play with the same toy, we try to help them work out a way that they can use it together (i.e., share), wait for when it is done, or trade one toy for another. This is big work but Room 1 friends are doing an amazing job learning this process. You often hear for example, Lara say to Marji, “Can I use it when you are done?” or “In two minutes I want a turn.” Room 1 teachers understand this is a learning process and instill the values of sharing by providing support and encouragement when needed.