"When I woke up this morning I was SO angry that it wasn’t Christmas today."
"When I woke up I was SO tired that it wasn’t Christmas I wanted to just stay home."
"I’m going to my Grandma’s tomorrow for Christmas." (it turned out, “tomorrow” was quite a few days away).
Me: It’s hard to wait for something
"Yeah, like you just wait and wait and it still doesn’t happen."
Me: What do you do when you are waiting?
"Oh, I just do stuff."
"I’m just SO SO angry of waiting."
"I’m so tired of waiting. I want Christmas now."
"But you have to be good waiting. You have to be nice, not naughty."
This was the discussion we had on Monday, 7 days before Christmas. Children came into preschool that morning very… well, let’s just say it was a difficult morning. I know this can be a hard time of year for children. We like to think of it as magical, and it definitely is. But it is also full of anticipation, expectations, disrupted schedules, busy parents, etc. I wanted to hear from the children what was going on. Waiting. Waiting is hard. Waiting is especially hard at Christmas when along with the waiting are expectations to be “good” so that Santa will come. And so, we counted the days until Christmas and counted how many of those days would be school days.
Me: We are going to be in school together for 5 days, waiting. Will it help if we wait together? Can we help each other wait?
"Yes, like we can do stuff together."
"If we wait together then we are playing and waiting at the same time."
"We can paint and make stuff to wait. We can make Christmas paintings so when we don’t want to wait we just look at the painting and pretend it’s Christmas."
"Oh, we can play family and pretend it’s Christmas now! I’ll give out the presents."
"If L is angry to wait, we can give her a smile and she will feel better."
The rest of the week went much better. We played, created, and sang together. We gave each other smiles and hugs when the waiting got hard. On Friday we toasted our waiting success with hot cocoa. We hung in there together –a community of waiters.
As part of our storytelling project, Calvin, Univ. of Iowa dance major, came and “told” a story by using his body (no words). He told the story of Where The Wild Things Are. The children immediately recognized that he was Max.
Later, he asked them if they could guess who he was thinking of as the Wild Things
Calvin: Who do you think in my mind the Wild Things were?
Vioet: In your imagination?
Calvin: Yes, do you remember when I stopped moving and looked at you in the audience?
Louisa: We were the wild things!
We got into a movement circle and work-shopped with Calvin about how Wild Things might move. How would their hands look? How would they move to show roaring without making noise? How would their bodies move through space to show a wild rumpus and swinging on trees? Then he invited us to rumpus with him!
Calvin came back another time, and invited the children to help tell the story. We became the story.
This was the beginning of what is becoming a wild adventure. We have re-told the story many many times in our classroom. Louisa has made puppets and a boat for Max that we often use. We have made movement drawings to document the movements that we work-shopped with Calvin. We've gotten into our movement circle to work on our Wild Things moves. We've had wild rumpuses at school and at Harvest Preserve. Now, we want to invite Calvin back to help us tell our story to the other classes. It started with a story, and grew into an adventure--let the wild rumpus start!
5 day teacher