Thoughts from Winnie the Pooh

Leave a comment

SOCIAL Winnie 1

Winnie the Pooh and his friends were a childhood classic favorite of mine, and I love that they are still popular and relevant today! I was excited for the new Christopher Robin movie to come out, and some of the reviews reminded me of some of the best qualities of Pooh. After seeing the movie (which I recommend!), I came up with a list of lessons or reminders that are qualities Pooh and his friends exhibit. These are useful to remember, especially as we’re heading to the start of a new school year. (I promise-no spoilers!)

  • Find Students’ Motivation

While walking around London, Pooh got very excited when he saw balloons and had Christopher Robin buy him one. He held onto it the entire train ride and when returning to the 100 Acre Woods. He said the balloon made him happy. He also asked Christopher Robin if his work briefcase made him as happy as a balloon.

It’s important that we learn about our students-what are their personal interests and what motivates them. Then, it’s our job as educators to find ways to incorporate these into the classroom-whether it be during discussions (how was your weekend?) or examples during lessons. We want students to learn, so we should find ways to engage and motivate them!

  • Incorporate Play

Christopher Robin’s life is consumed by work, so he doesn’t have time to play anymore. Until others show him, he doesn’t realize he misses being silly, role-playing, or running around with his friends. He also doesn’t realize that his daughter just wants to play and have fun with him. Pooh and his friends want to spend all their time playing in the 100 Acre Woods.

School should be fun. If it’s all work, students will find it boring and tune out (even adults will). Find time to take brain breaks between activities, incorporate games into classes, have down time or recess. If you incorporate games or play into learning activities, students may not even know they are learning!!

  • Be Flexible

Pooh and his friends are creative and willing to try new things at time (well, maybe Piglet and Eeyore need some encouragement). Christopher Robin’s focus is to find a solution for his work dilemma. He is focused on the outcome but gets stuck on his path getting there.

A day at school is never as expected-that’s one of my favorite parts! Something always happens to make it exciting, adventurous, even frustrating at times. But if you stay focused on the positives and your goals, you’ll be able to find a solution. If you’re willing to be flexible-maybe a lesson goes too long or short, maybe you get off topic for whatever reason, maybe you need to play a game or incorporate some team building, that is okay. As long as you make baby steps towards the ultimate goals, you can see progress and know that you will get there, just maybe on a different path (or as Pooh would say “I get to where I’m going by walking away from where I’ve been”

  • Stay in the Moment

At one point Pooh asks Christopher Robin what day it is, which he responds, “Today”. Pooh then says, “My favorite day. Yesterday, when it was tomorrow, it was too much day for me”.

Pooh definitely embodies a character who lives in the moment. Every day is a new beginning, and we need to treat it that way. Whatever frustrations (or successes) happened yesterday, give each student a fresh chance at the beginning of the day. If you’re feeling frustrated or stressed from something, leave it in the car or at the door, so your focus at school is school. I know when I’m constantly looking ahead to everything I need to do or things coming up, I miss what’s happening in the moment and don’t enjoy it!

So let’s appreciate the “Todays” and act more like Winnie the Pooh!

The Art of Play

Leave a comment

Teaching First Grade has reminded me how new everything is to these students.  They truly are discovering the world around them.  Not only do we want to teach them to identify letters and sounds, how to read, and introduce numbers and counting, but it is also our responsibility to teach them the rules and routines of school and how to interact and play with their peers.  It is a long school day with a lot of information to take in for a young child.  Sometimes these kids just need to a break and chance to play.

Play can happen in the form of a break, game, or recess, or as an activity in a lesson.  For a math exploration activity, students were split into 3 groups and told to explore the materials-base 10 blocks, pattern blocks, and geoboards.  Some of these materials were new to the students, and the students loved being able to build and create designs.  To introduce the science unit of balancing, students were given a tagboard crayfish and 2 clothespins; they were told to find a way to balance the crayfish on one finger.  The students were creative and tried putting the clothespins in different places.  Some students also tried balancing the crayfish in other places, such as their forearms, and later, some tried to balance their own body on one foot.  They had fun being hands-on and exploring; as a result, they were able to correctly answer my objectives: what is balancing and what is the purpose of counter-weights.

Even with the increasing standards and demands of school, we can’t lose sight of the fact we are teaching young children.  Sometimes they just need to have fun and have the chance to play.  picstitch