Planning Color Days and Setting Times

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Nurseries are already beginning to work together in group planning sessions. This Thursday they dictated a long list of yellow and red foods for our Color Days coming up next week. I took down requests for yellow and red apples, red and yellow peppers, yellow cheese, yellow melon, bananas, pineapple, lemons, corn, strawberries, raspberries and watermelon. I couldn't find one or two things, but I did add in red grapes thinking that they would approve.

They are still enjoying trading knock-knock jokes plus "Why did the…." jokes. They love the hilarious group laughter that follows. Mostly this is at snack and lunch times when we are gathered around the table. They do love it!

We had our first Music time with Dennis Farmer. He led us over to the kindergarten room to gather up with all the Kindergartners… the first time for many of the children to actually see the room. Kindergartners have already begun a Nursery Visit list. Seeing the Kindergarten room may inspire Nurseries to do the same with a Kindergarten Visit list. We shall see…. 

Some Nurseries have stepped into the next level and have begun to set times with each other for turns on the swings and trikes, etc… of course, with me there to help them with the process. They all have had practice setting their group transition times… for going outside and coming back in, or to gather up for a special group meeting…. and I think that their setting their own time taking is a natural extension of this. Setting times with a peer to get a turn or to relinquish a turn can be a little more complicated, personal and difficult though. However, they are beginning to want to take on the challenge of doing it!

When they set times with each other, each person gets to say how many minutes — from one to ten — that they want. We find-the-middle. If they agree on that, I can start timing. But if one or both disagrees, then we restart the process until they can end up with the number of minutes that they both can agree on.

In the midst of all this, I explain, and they come to understand, that the time has to feel fair to both.

At the beginning of the year, each time setting can be a rather lengthy process requiring a lot of support from me. Of course, they are all observing each other doing this and along the way, learning how it works. And, of course, with more and more practice, they become more and more confident. They become more and more independent. My presence is needed less and less. Later in the year, they will simply be coming over to me to announce the minutes they have both agreed on! Over the years, I've found that some Nurseries begin to understand the concept of finding the average as well as the negotiation of what feels fair. There are many years that several children want to add the concept of zero into the process. It's all very rich and also an incredibly useful social tool for them to have.

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