A friend and mentor of mine used to say "There's always the next level". It applied to almost everything. Whether we were cleaning out a closet in the preschool, or setting up an art project, or performing a needed upgrade on the school building itself, we would always have that feeling afterward that we could have done it a little better. My friend would say, "Well, there's always a next level."
I don't see this as a statement of defeat for not being able to attain the highest level of "perfect". I see it as an opportunity to stretch myself to 101%. 110% could wear me out and get me stressed. But 101% is a great target for the next attainable level.
I have been applying this mantra to our curriculum, seizing the opportunities to add one component and make the next level of learning happen. One simple way has been to add a literacy or math component to our displays. Here is one example of this approach that I felt drawn to write about it when I saw Deborah's linky at Teach Preschool today.
We made these trees, based on inspiration from Crafts by Amanda.
The Next Level:
To add a component of teachability, we charted out our favorite fall color. I am not a huge fan of asking children what their "favorite" things are as I think it pressures them into a paradigm of one right answer. When I realized I was doing that very thing, I decided to make "All" of the colors be an option as well. "All" won by a landslide!