Every year when we consider what to do in our first days, there is a hope and a plan to make the first day (or two) so exciting that kiddos can’t wait to come back for more. Rather than spend our first times together as a class sitting and talking about rules, consequences, expectations and well, more of the same, we strive to SHOW them what’s important to us, and at the same time give them opportunities to have fun and make memories form the very beginning. This year on our first day we made
ice cream butter, read lots of great books and got to build with boxes!!
Several years ago Ms. Turken and I found this book by a beloved author (Jane Yolen) and loved it right away. Then when we realized the invitation it gave kiddos for creativity and imagination–and that we could do it on day #1–we loved it even more!
The concept is very simple: you can do SO MANY THINGS with a box and your brain. :). After we read the story, we just looked at the box pile (sorry! I forgot to get a picture! 😦 ) and brainstormed what we thought we might do with those boxes. Many kiddos started to list problems they could see solving with a box (which was not necessary but a really great stretch of thinking!), or just fun things they might create to play with or use for something at home or school. We took turns choosing our boxes and then got busy!
We built and created for most of the morning (or maybe the day?!) and it was great to watch what happened! Kids were busy, working, cooperating, trying things out and trying again, and using all the grit and creativity they could muster. It was exciting to see that already this class knows how to tackle an open-ended situation where there are many possibilities. They took on the challenge with smiles and excitement and produced some pretty great results! AND they had a super fun 2nd day of school and were excited to come back for more!! 🙂