In my combined first and second grade, my goal was to allow children to participate in a peaceful, productive, and comfortable atmosphere while learning well. We developed as few rules as possible but enough for cohesiveness and fairness for all. Some were a class’s decision, and some were mine. Most of the time the rules were taken for granted and obeyed. When a problem did occur with any child or group, there were spontaneous responses with problem solving and discussions about right vs. wrong, hopefully increasing their moral awareness. Stories and literature writing assignments often included a moral at the end.
One kindergarten class from years ago, were capable of making all their own rules. The class would decide and vote and then try out a new rule with changes made when necessary. What a joy that was. Those children could get out finger paint, use it, and clean up afterwards without any input from me. Also, the children enforced the rules among themselves. And I never had a class afterwards that could initiate and follow through with that much responsibility. I began to wonder why??? Well, first of all in that school, four kindergarten classes were divided according to age, and those children were the oldest group. In addition, many of those children came from very large families and had jobs to do at home. In my future classes, children did problem solve and make decisions about rules but could never initiate all. There was always a combination of their rules and mine.
Read more about children’s personal development and social interaction in my book, Early Childhood Programs: Opportunities for Academic, Cognitive, and Personal Success. Included is a web site where programs and activities can be downloaded for use in a classroom. Also, see 7 reviews on www.amazon.com
Teaching Young Children © Peggy Broadbent 2011 - All Rights Reserved