My daughter starts first grade this morning.

She had a wonderful Kindergarten year and we are looking forward to a great year.

Part of the parent homework I did last night was filling out a sheet about my daughter listing some of her strengths, our goals, and concerns/questions we may have.

Have I mentioned what a tough time I am having balancing the teacher-in-me and the mother-in-me? (that was really hard for me at open house last week)

Yeah there are the basic goals of wanting M to learn more this year about reading, math, and all the other subjects …

But I hope that school is not going to take the enjoyment of learning away from her …

I want her to keep WONDERING which has been supported and encouraged by the way we use the Wonderopolis site!

She loves to make up stories, songs, and even dance moves! We are always finding random pieces of art projects all over the house … some construction paper here, some paint there, dried play-doh where it shouldn’t be … not to mention crayons, markers, and pencils everwhere (I guess I have to take some credit for that ..).

My little one is really into asking questions. She notices details and attempts to make connections between what she knows and what she doesn’t know to help her understand. In fact, understand is one of her favorite words right now!

 

My husband was not at home yesterday when I needed to leave for the appointment I had made to donate blood, so M went with me. In the car, she kept asking questions so we talked about what I was going to do, why I was doing it, and who could be helped because of my donation. She connected it to donating her toys so other children could have fun. Then she started asking about the process of the blood donation and what would happen if they took too much and how they would decide who it should go to.

By the way, she has now decided that one of her legs has less blood in it than the other one, which means she needs to get blood … Did I mention she has a very active and descriptive imagination?

Once we got to the donation site, I told M could sit in the waiting area or at the snack table (all within my sight), but she said, “I want to understand what is going on.” While I was explaining the process, she stopped me and said, “yeah, I get how it works but I want to understand …”

Those words keep echoing in my mind …

Understanding is a deeper form of knowledge … propelled by questions and curiosity!

One of my goals for first grade and beyond is that she is willing to ask questions and take chances without being so afraid to fail or wary of what will happen if she does not succeed at first …

I want for all students to be willing to take chances and ask questions …

I want for classroom environments to be supportive of students asking questions to encourage critical thinking ..

I remember getting a bit annoyed at times as a classroom teacher when students had so many questions about what seemed like unrelated topics …

I am now learning that I bet those topics were connected in some ways for them … even if I did not realize …

 

By the way, M did not stay in the area I asked her to so she got to sit close to me while I was donating blood. I loved seeing her eyes looking all around trying to take everything in. She continued to asked questions … which is something I hope she always does!

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