In the Classroom: The Grasshoppers
May 6, 2014
Having a Ball!
Who doesn’t love a good ball? We have a number of children who are just in love with sports!
Balls can be a source of great joy to many Grasshoppers, but for the teachers, they at times can be a big challenge.
The overwhelming desire for competition that accompanies ball play is often too much for young children to handle and can create sources of conflict. Luckily this makes for an awesome opportunity for practice in problem solving, negotiation, and group boundary setting.
Following emergent curriculum, we as educators seek out ways to support what the children are working on and give them ways to extend and deepen their interests. Noticing a teachable moment, we introduced a discussion about balls in a group meeting.
We talked about what the Grasshoppers thought would be fair, friendly, and safe things to do when playing with balls. All of the ideas were written down and we turned the ideas into a “ball contract.” The children wrote their names on it if they agreed that it was fair. It is posted in the room at the children’s level for everyone to see.
Using an idea from a DVAEYC (Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children) workshop we attended, we created badges to wear showing that our Grasshoppers are “ball experts”. We made them ourselves and the children take great pride in wearing them and holding each other accountable for remembering the agreed upon terms.
Involving the children in each step of the learning process, they became much more invested in the outcome and our Grasshopper community.