Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela
I thought I might blog a bit about our amazing 4 year old pre-K students at SSES!! It's that time of year when everything is starting to "click" and the ability to problem solve and communicate their needs is really evident. A special shout-out to our amazing Pre-K teachers and their assistants in a job well done as they prepare our youngest Sycamore saplings for kinder next year.
The big idea right now is their social awareness. The past few lessons focused on something I like to call "Equal Share Snack." I've done several counselor trainings on this cute little group activity and while it's an oldie for me, it is very much a goodie. The idea is that you place several edibles in the middle of the table (I like Skittles or gummy bears) and ask the students to "discuss" how to divide the snack so that everyone gets "Equal Share." There are a few rules: 1) they cannot touch the snack; 2) they have to talk to each other (not me) and 3) when everyone has the same amount, they can eat the snack. Sounds easy enough, right?
Well, with practice, they become quite good at engaging with each other. There is often this awkward pause at the beginning where they struggle with the first rule, don't touch. I will point to my visual picture of students looking at each other with the words, "how much?" Typically, a brave soul then looks at me and asks, "how much?" I then point to the second rule, talk to each other (not me). So then, the fun begins as I get to watch students practicing that so important life skill of turning to another human, asking for something, waiting and eventually getting what they need through verbal and non-verbal communication. So many awesome lessons are tied into one with this activity. I take every opportunity to direct teach and praise all those good things that go into effective communication like eye contact, asking questions, waiting, compromise, negotiation and listening with respect. For a more detailed lesson plan that I shared while training Counselors at the Region XIII service center a few years back click this link here.