My dad and second mom visited my classroom on Friday, bringing with them smiles and hugs and encouraging words to the kids (and me!) and some extra sets of flash cards that we were in need of. We put one set to good use today, when we found we had a few minutes of unclaimed time before recess, by playing Around the World.
I will admit, right off, I don't play this game often in my classroom, mainly because it's a special treat when my sub is here but also because it feels like two kids doing math facts while everyone else sits and chats and waits for their turn. I much prefer games that are more engaging for everyone, but I digress.
So, today we played. We are focusing on learning one set of addition facts at a time, so we have only learned 0's, 1's and 2's so far. We had a fun time playing and I found myself full of heartbreak for those that kept getting beat every.single.round, but also thrilled to see my kids encouraging and cheering for each other.
My little K, full of giggles and a thousand, "I love you's" every day got so excited as she made her way through the desks that she was nearly skipping by the time she got back to her row. When she successfully landed back in her seat, having beat everyone in the class with her speed, she threw up her hands and laughed and giggled and ran to hug me crying, "I've never won this game before!"
She talked about it for the rest of the afternoon and even as we walked to the bus, she was still glowing. I reminded her that she'd better keep practicing because there were a lot of kids that would want to beat her now, and she was pumped up and ready for the challenge.
I know there are so many in my room that feel defeated; they know they aren't good readers; they know they aren't the fastest at math. I hope I can remember to find ways for all of them to have victorious moments like K did today.