The teachers, too, were concerned. Please don't break our classroom materials. This bee was for everyone to see under the loupe.
Admittedly we don't want people to destroy or dismantle items in our classroom, but these types of events occur in a preschool classroom. When a person knocks down someone else's magna tile ship, we ask the person to rebuild the ship for his or her classmate. Or if a toy gets broken, intentionally or accidentally, the teachers invite the person involved to help repair it. By bringing people back to a destructive event, we are encouraging a reflection on one's actions; creating awareness of oneself and their surroundings. We also are supporting the growth of empathy: even if one's inadvertent actions (or purposeful, for that matter) impact someone else in the classroom, we check in. We promote the care for each other, the things around us. This process is an everyday occurrence in the Rainbow Room; par for the course.
|Showing Anna a bug |
caught in our classroom
|A depiction of a dead spider a group |
saw in the basement
|Choosing a favorite butterfly on our poster|
The more I reflect on how we treat small critters, particularly bugs, I'm realizing how much presence insects and bugs maintain in the Rainbow Room (literally and figuratively). We find bugs all the time and usually catch and release them. Our warm windowsills often exhibit the occasional dead fly, a living stink bug, and to the children's delight, the beautiful ladybug.
|Grub worms mysteriously appeared in our |
acorns in the sensory table
|Releasing the grub worms |
on the playground
|Making a home for the grub worms|
|People noticed a spider on the playground|
climber and quietly watched it move away.
|For further exploration of living things,|
a giant leopard moth caterpillar
was discovered and saved. An
enriching habitat will support its life
functions until its metamorphosis.
|Providing space for the spider |
while observing it.
|After one person killed a granddaddy |
long leg spider, a group was
invited to help the individual bury it.
Occasionally living things are deliberately killed on the playground. We aren't comfortable with this behavior, so we remind people that the playground is the animal's habitat; move away if you don't like it, but please don't hurt it. Drawing one's attention to the reaction of his or her peers can be a learning opportunity as well: were people interested in this bug? Were they observing it?
When a particular episode occurred recently, a group of people were asked to help their friend bury the spider he had squashed. What resulted was a devoted group of friends working to create a lovely place in which to bury the spider. They rallied around each other, working toward a common goal and were satisfied with their collective result.
|The spider's grave|
Now I'm thinking of the Rainbow Room's next bug-related provocation: examining the parts of a bumblebee together.
*I am deliberately using the terms people or person because generally that's how Rainbow Roomers refer to themselves (versus "children").