These last few weeks of school are always a challenge. Mother Nature is partially to blame. With the warmer temperatures it’s more difficult to sustain the attention of a six-year-old, but I do my best. In kindergarten, more than some of the older grades, the kids are also beginning to become anxious at the prospect of leaving the safety and comfort of their friends, classroom, and teacher. Behaviors often spike.
When we began our Ocean Unit a few weeks ago, we also began our ‘fish’ whole class incentive program. It’s rather simple. A fish bowl is drawn on the board and for every morning or afternoon we can go without any major behaviors we draw a fish in the tank. Physical contact or a child needing to visit the Rest Stop defines a major behavior.
The incentive was an indoor beach party. We’d planned the party for yesterday weeks ago, but the class didn’t know that… they thought they had to earn it. We set our goal as ten fish. Ten. That’s it. With each day they had the chance to earn two fish – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. They could have those ten fish in one week. As luck would have it, we only earned the tenth fish the day before we’d planned the party. It took over two weeks to earn those fish.
Our party was a huge success. We made our own beach visors, wore sunglasses and flip-flops, laid our beach towels out, and sang all our ocean songs. We also watched Finding Nemo. I always feel like Mr. Ray was my inspiration to become a teacher… Being a movie released almost ten years before any of my sprouts were born, I was surprised how many of them hadn’t seen it. It’s always fun to watch a child enjoy an amazing movie for the first time… plus with all we’ve been learning about the ocean it’s really a good representation of all the facts we’ve discussed… except for the talking fish of course.
We’ve got a few more days to wrap our Ocean Unit and then it’s on to insects… I’m thinking we’ll be working on getting spots on a ladybug…