Tuesday, November 29, 2011

There's always the next level

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!


  1. I love all. I usually say - today - like what is your favourite colour today? ( I am in Australia where colour IS spelt like that!)

  2. I totally agree with the next level. It's one of the reasons I started my blog. I want to inspire parts to ask one more question, to stretch the activity just a bit to include important skills or just recognize what they are already doing as learning and promote it even more! Thank you for linking up!

  3. I love that you added the graphing to your art project! Great activity! I am your newest reader! I'd love for you to follow me back, if you want to =-) I also wanted to invite to link up at TGIF Linky Party on Friday - http://livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com/search/label/Linkey%20Parties
    Beth =-)


Thank you for the comments! Always appreciated : )

We'll just skip circle time today.

This morning, I thought the kids and I would go outside a little extra early, enjoy the nice cool weather, do the art project I had planned ...