I’ve begun to appreciate the generational patterns that ripple out from our lives like stones dropped in water, pulsing outward even after we are gone. Although we have but one childhood, we relive it first through our children’s and then through our grandchildren’s eyes. – Anne Cassidy
For two years now I have adopted a morning ritual of having a Question of the Day. “Where does wind come from?” “What is power?” “How are kids different from adults?” These are the type of questions we ask the children. It acts as a transitional tool, something concrete that the kids know will be there every morning. It also helps us get to understand their thinking more, and to show that different people can have different ideas.
Last year was the first time we also did a Parent Question of the Day. It was less frequent, since the questions usually required a longer answer and parents have a lot of things to do at drop off and pick up. It was typically more of a Question of the Week. It became a way for us to connect with the families in our room, and also for the families to connect with one another. Sharing struggles, ideas, and wonderments about parenting in a quick and easy manner was a wonderful thing to be able to scaffold.
Our first Question of the Day this year was a simple one: “What did you like to do as a child?”
One person responded that they liked to make potions, mix and pour various materials, and pretend to make magical concoctions.
We read the answers to the classroom and they soaked up the information, loving that they were hearing about their parent as a child – the idea alone dazzling them. We set up a provocation inspired by the answer of potion making, adding containers of various colored water and droppers to a sensory table filled with cloud dough and purple sand.
The class played with this singular provocation for the entire morning, describing the various types of potions they were making. “This potion dies bad animals.”
I also heard references to the origin of the provocation from a few children. “We’re making potions like L when she was a kid.”
The Question of the Day, as simple as it is, allows us to connect on a deeper level than we may have without it. How often do we get to ask each other about our childhoods, never mind find a way to connect our own experiences to our children’s?
Connecting with families, especially in our rushed world, isn’t always easy. However bonding with families, and feeling a sense of comradery has always been important to me and doing so in a familiar way, such as Question of the Day, feels both relevant to our classroom culture and manageable.
Education is a shared commitment between dedicated teachers, motivated students and enthusiastic parents with high expectations. – Bob Beauprez