One way our class is building an inclusive learning community is by sharing the role of setting up the physical environment. While a lot of that responsibility is only developmentally appropriate for me, there are many tasks the children can take charge of. When setting up the classroom this year I deliberately left certain areas of the classroom undone and set up a plan for how the children and I could create those parts of the classroom together. There was even a point in which I was taking items down off the walls to make room for the children to take charge.
On the first day of kindergarten, the children made their own name tags for their coat hooks using their table name tag I had made as reference and a little creativity. The children were so proud to find their own coat hook the next morning, many children making a point of telling their parents about making their own name tag. It was a powerful moment of independence and collaboration.
On the second day of kindergarten we completed a more decorative project for the bulletin board above our SMART Board. This board is too high to hang learning tools for the kids to refer to, making it the perfect spot for a little beauty just for beauty’s sake. We read the book Shades of People and discussed the beautiful rainbow of people that made up our class.