Posted on May 22, 2017
I looooove Book Swap. What a wonderful opportunity to bring in books that we don't read anymore and get to take home really cool books! The children love to browse, read, and choose their very own books to take home. I think it is a wonderful opportunity to give children increased independence in "buying" choices, since there isn't a negative outcome if they make the "wrong" choice.
Before the children go to swap books, I ask them, "If my friend and I both see a book that we both want, is it ok to grab and pull?" I act out big pulling motions with a wild grimace on my face.
"No!" everyone chimes.
"So how can I solve this?" I ask. "What are some solutions?"
The kindergarteners' hands shoot up.
"Put the book back in the box and nobody gets it." Yes, that's a possible solution. What's another one?
"I can give the book to the person." Another possible solution.
"We can jan ken po." And so on. Our Mid-Pacific students know they can solve problems!
I ask them, "Do we always get what we want?" No. Unfortunately, sometimes that's the harsh reality of life, but at times we need to accept that and move on.
I make a very sad face and hang my head. "If you're feeling disappointed because you didn't get that book, how do you help yourself feel better?" I ask.
"Find another book." Yes, there are many other wonderful books at Book Swap!
"Ask your mom to buy it."
"Remember that you have lots of other good books at home."
"Ask them if I can just read it during CE and give it back to them."
YES! I am so proud of them -- our children can think of healthy strategies to overcome disappointing situations AND they are problem-solvers!
Book Swap is a lovely time to celebrate our love of reading and Earth Day. In addition, it is putting into practice what we have learned in CE this year. This is no role play -- this is real life.
On the last CE class of the year, I always read a short picture book called Some Things Change. The last page of this book reads (spoiler alert): "Some things change, some things stay the same." It has a picture of the family of penguins hugging. The children know I read this book EVERY year, on the first and last day of the school year. As they exit CE for the last time of the school year, I ask them, "Even if you move to another country over the summer, what will be the same for you when your school year starts again?" They have fun coming up with answers: "My body will be the same body!...My name!...I'll still have a sister!" Others answer: "Same classroom [although different teacher]...Same teacher!...Same school [if they're moving to the next grade]." Yes, some things change, and some stay the same.
Hoping you have a wonderful summer full of fun and R & R! I also pray that when (when, not if, in this life that we live as humans) you run into problems, you are able to find suitable solutions and peace.
A hui hou,