When kindergarten children start school, they aren't just entering a new classroom, it is a whole new world for them. This is particularly true for the many children who haven't had the opportunity to go to PreKindergarten or preschool. What have they been doing for the first 5 years of their life? Let's hope they've been playing and having a great time. Let's remember this as we begin a new school year and ease them into their learning with what they know best: playing and having a good time. Let's remember to give them plenty of chances to explore all of the tools that they will be using later in the year before we ask them to utilize them formally to advance their learning. This particular subject is really hitting home with me as I look to the new year because my "baby" is starting kindergarten. I think of him and how important it will be for him to feel confident "playing" with school tools before he actually has to "work" with them in order for him to be successful. This exploration period will not be time lost, in fact, I feel that it will be time gained in the end if implemented appropriately.
Swing on into MMMB for an article about how I will allow my students to explore 4 of my "staple" centers for the year and grab this 20 page freebie that will let your students "play" in the stamping center before actually "working" there: