Rhythms of Life

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6 thoughts on “Rhythms of Life”

  1. Alisa Shapiro

    Awesome. It seems like a classic pre-school/ early elementary school idea.
    The kids learn to tell about their weekends at Circle Time. They celebrate the changing leaves and Thanksgiving…it gives way to the Lights in the Darkness (Winter Solstice) holidays – Kwanzaa, Hannukah, Christmas, etc…where did you go for vacation? What are your family traditions? What artifacts/rituals /foods do you celebrate with?
    Birthdays and other special days (Winter Concert, Spirit Day, Pajama Day) are peppered in. New pets, babies, someone moved away, a new kid moved in. ‘My grandma is coming for 4 days and we’re going to make brownies together!’ ‘I’m Willy Wonka in the play!’ ‘I hate cheese and I LOVE steak.’ ‘Look what I got at the mall!’ ‘My mom’s grandma died.’ ‘I saw ‘Frozen!’ ‘Star Wars is the BEST.’ ‘We are all interested in Space since we have the Star Lab in 2nd grade. Let’s tell a story that takes place on Mars….with aliens and stuff!’ “Our chicks hatched!”
    It’s called constructivism or Emergent curriculum when you follow the students’ interest – but it’s usually content-related, i.e., Butterflies, The 5 senses, rockets, castles, apples, Chicago…in our case, it can be gleaned from survey info (CWB, interest cards, etc) and spun into countless stories, scenes, banter, characters, readings….
    I really need to think through how to collect good personalize-able info from my little ones…I think I’ll do it a bit at a time…starting with the WHO question – favorite book/movie characters; etc.

  2. I’ve always felt like this was important and would really like to integrate more of it in my classroom. Something just feels right and good about it; what an articulate post.
    To add a little quirkiness to the daily calendar questions (I ask students/they ask each other stuff about weather, what did they eat last night, where are they going after school today) try the
    national day calendar. I translate it into Spanish. Some kids look forward to finding out what “day” it is designated and sometimes there are several that I can cherry-pick.
    nationaldaycalendar.com

  3. This just feels so good. Love what Alisa said – I spent ten years teaching nursery school and Nathaniel’s idea does have that vibe. A kind of thematic unit with heart and soul. Who knows? Selling these ideas is all in the packaging!

  4. I agree with Ben, this is huge and I hope it does not go away from the blog. We are challenged to have our language be referencing some real and pertinent meaning while remaining comprehensible. The rhythms of life are repetitive. Cyclical. The language goes around and around with the weeks and seasons. I love Nathaniel’s idea that this is celebration. I hold that belief, even when students have their half-lidded or evasive look. I’ve started having some early-output types do the opening “greetings”, asking everyone how are you? and some simple follow-ups. I find it beautiful to see them talking with each other. I love the idea of this being a concept that frames the evolution of classroom daily practice. The frame that holds stories, video, readings, etc. Go Nathaniel!

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