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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Novelty in the Classroom

I've written about my Ruby before. She's my 3-year old German Shepherd who I truly believe is GT! Once in a training class I taught her to dip her head on command-it took like 10 minutes-(not a particular useful party trick, I know, but the trainer was showing us how to introduce a new command). She's extremely intelligent, sensitive and is even a little awkward when it comes to playing with other dogs. :) It's a bad sign when you are shopping at PetSmart and the cashier asks you how many dogs you are shopping for....one, I say blushing. So she is not disadvantaged when it comes to toys or bones. However, she gets bored with them very easily. I learned that I can stick one of her old bones in another toy and suddenly it's interesting to her again. Today she had a blast with her new hula hoop ($1 at the dollar store)-entertained her for a good 20 minutes:


Why am I telling you this? Because I think you can easily apply this concept of novelty in your classroom. Rearrange the furniture, change their seats (I do this every month), change the sand in the sand/water table to pompoms or popcorn kernels. Give them new materials to create with (we got out tissue paper the other day, they got such a kick out of that-paper made out of tissues? ha!). Do your read-aloud outside, say "good-morning" to each student in a different language as they walk in. Dress up like the '50's one day or have a Poetry Luau. Anything to change the routine up a little bit.

Little changes make our brains have to think about things differently and that's good for their brain development. I get bored looking at the same room arrangement or items hanging on the wall all the time, imagine being 5 and having that same experience. Especially this time of year when even Kindergarteners seem to be getting "senioritis"! They notice those little changes immediately and get so excited about it.

Kids this age do need routine and structure, but I also think they need to have little surprises sometimes to, keeps them on their toes! :)

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