“Children are like tiny flowers; they are varied and need care, but each is beautiful alone and glorious when seen in the community of peers.”---Friedrich Fröbel 1782-1852

What a wonderful week we have had at Kindergarten! There’s no doubt spring has arrived and what a perfect way to celebrate that and the International Kindergarten Holiday by planting an indoor flower garden!

This activity, though reinforcing our spring oriented English language vocabulary is far more profound in that it is a very real way for students to connect with nature, watch the process of a seedling becoming a blooming plant and eventual flower and most importantly learn how to care for something other than themselves on a daily basis to ensure its survival.  

As educator, I must say it is rare to see all students completely engrossed and engaged in any particular activity but planting the flower garden provided that lovely rare example!

The true intentions of Kindergarten (and most would argue school in general) is to encourage students to find a deeper sense of meaning in what they do, make intellectual, social and emotional connections to other people and facets of life and become strong independent thinkers. The act of planting and caring for individual flowers in a community garden promotes all of this wonderful growth and I am sure I am not alone when I say I cannot wait to see how the flowers (children?) will bloom in the upcoming days!

As an International Kindergarten Day keepsake for parents and caregivers on Thursday we created a special flower and handprint poem poster unique to each child. This was the first time either set of students had painted with a stencil and it was enjoyed by all. Every student was asked to pick colours of paint and paper that they liked best without regard to how the final product might look; this meant we had some gorgeous and unique poems to display at school.

The poem selected is as follows:

Sometimes you get discouraged

Because I am so small

And always leave my fingerprints

On furniture and walls.

But every day I'm growing -

I'll be grown some day

And all those tiny handprints

Will surely fade away.

So here's a little handprint

Just so you can recall

Exactly how my fingers looked

When I was very small.

by T Lambert Jr

Throughout the week students have continued to practice and use their spring oriented vocabularies as well as share with us during circle time the current weather (it’s nice to talk about something other than snow!) Next week will see us doing more spring oriented projects before moving onto summer oriented vocabulary and activities.

What is International Kindergarten Day?

International Kindergarten day is celebrated by many schools around the world on April 21st or the birthday of Friedrich Froebel or the founder of the concept of Kindergarten. Amongst many other practices still alive in many Kindergartens today like circle time he created and promoted the use of actual gardens in school pedagogies. Here he believed students could connect with nature, learn through tilling the land and find a happiness and contentment through this that connected them to a higher spirituality.

Froebel called play ‘the work of children’ and understood the creativity, imagination, socialization as well as individual thought/actions undertaken during this special time sparked the first embers of learning. Before the advent of Kindergarten as we know it today, childhood was given very little importance. Children were to be seen and not heard, they were largely ignored until they could be useful in domestic tasks or worse yet sent to work in factories. In essence children were regarded as small adults---with inferior intellectual capacities.

Therefore it is with immense gratitude we celebrate International Kindergarten Day.

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