“Never be tired of learning or teaching others.” – Confucius
It seems a bit off to be talking about China on St. Patrick’s Day, but today, that is where the global focus was in Kindergarten this week. The Emerald Isle has nothing on the experience of the Great Wall of building blocks!
For the past few years, Mrs. DeReus has been having a project based learning unit based on China. The students learn about the culture, the food, the people, the language, and the sights. I spoke to a student who is now in fifth grade that shared her memories of the project from years ago. She brightened and said, “I STILL have my passport from that unit! Mrs. DeReus gave us a little passport that she stamped each and every time we learned about another part of the country. It was really fun!”
Mrs. DeReus completes her students’ learning by extending the multidisciplinary unit BEYOND the classroom! The Kindergarten class went on a field trip today to Tang’s Chinese Restaurant. They were able to experience the culture and atmosphere of authentic cuisine while making text-to-world (and tastebud) connections that they will remember for many years to come.
Educational psychology tells us that the more often we, as educators, are able to connect learning to experience, the more apt students are to retain the information. Seeing the bright smiles of these Kindergarteners, it is obvious that their learning was a very gratifying experience. Whether being welcomed by a door-to-floor sized flag of China as they entered, or being asked to observe the beauty of Chinese characters and the sound of the Mandarin language … there is only one thing left to say – I wish I was in Kindergarten again!