all become experts in parts of their lives."
-Andi Cunnignham from Starting with Comprehension
As we work, learn and play together in the Early K classroom, we are working, learning and playing towards being a strong community. One way we can do this is by getting to know the individuals who have come together to create it.
The children that have entered our room this year have had four or five years of experience in the world. They know and are good at many things and they have had time to get to know and love these things that make up their world. The children have passions for various topics, therefore we were sure we had many "experts" living in our learning community. We wanted to capture the spirit of our community by discovering the expertise that lives inside of it. Who are the experts in our community? What are they really good at? What do they know a lot about? What do they wish to share with our community as a whole?
We asked the children to share their expertise with the whole community through drawing and watercolors. Here are a few examples of the experts that make up our learning community:
I know the Spruce Goose. I’ve been there before.
-D.M., age 4
I am an expert at running. Like when I run down the Running Hill.
-P.H., age 5
I am an expert at my life and my sister. I know what makes her happy when she’s out with me.
-R.S., age 4
I am an expert at coloring and drawing. I drew and painted the pink trolley.
-C.G., age 4
A few weeks after our initial discussion about the experts that occupy our classroom, we decided to have a more intimate discussion with the experts themselves. We focused it around a splendid tea party where a small group of friends got to talk more about the things they are experts at.
T: What are you experts at?
C.C.: Trains. I ride them so much!
R.S.: Streetcars. I ride on them a lot!
A.H.: I know a lot about trains, too. I watch Thomas.
L.B.: I can plant strawberries. I am good at gardening.
D.W.: I like to cook. Like crepes. It's so much fun to do it.
S.P.: We are experts at a lot of things.
F.D-L: I do good at PBS kids
P.H.: I have a big dinosaur book and I know a lot of about dinosaurs.
S.P.: I love blocks. I look at pictures and I have blocks at my house.
H.F-A.: I'm good at life.
C.G.: I am and expert at Pink Trolleys. And I am a good friend.
S.P.: Me, too. I help friends when they get an owie.
F.D-L.: I agree with Chole and I am good at hearing the Pink Trolley.
O.A.: Climbing trees! I'm really good at it.
J.L.: Windbirds, just like Andrew. But a little different.
D.M.: I like planes. I like flying in them.
L.H.: Me, too!
By knowing what our friends like and what they are good at, we are learning more about the unique personalities that share our classroom. We are also letting our friends know about the distinct gifts that we bring to school each day. One way to build such a strong community is to share our gifts with excitement, love and energy! As J.L. says, "An expert is when you're good at something and you can't stop doing it. It's good to know what people are good at!" We are looking forward to sharing our expertise throughout the year with everyone!