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Another daycare lesson

We talked in class today about why so many teachers are scared of giving up whole group instruction and implementing small group routines.  I said at one point that having groups all over the classroom, each doing their own thing feels safe, not chaotic.  My professor laughed and said that this feeling “probably makes you an odd duck in the universe of teachers.”   Clearly my reaction to independently operating small groups isn’t normal, so why do I have it?  I think the answer lies, once again, in daycare.  Here’s another lesson to add to my earlier list:

6) Large groups of children lead to biting.
One lesson I learned by spending months in the same room as 12 one-year-olds is that 2, 3, or maybe even 4 one-year-olds can find a way to play side by side without hurting each other (as long as there are enough toys to go around).  Bring more than that together , or, god forbid, bring all 12 to the same spot, doing the same activity, and somebody is guaranteed to end up in tears.  That many toddlers simply cannot share the same small space without one (or more) of them getting annoyed and either trying to take a chomp out of another or using whatever toy is at hand to wallop somebody else over the head.  It’s a law of nature.  After my daycare experience I don’t really even think about it in the classroom – I instinctively break kids up into smaller groups and get them working in different parts of the room.  It just feels safer to me.  Even though six-year-olds don’t usually bite.

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  1. April 30, 2010 at 7:44 am

    It’s good to have duplicate toys to to help prevent those “tug-of-war” scenarios. :)

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