What Does it Mean to be an Ally?
Hello KA families,
This week we began to explore the incredible symmetry found in monarch butterflies. We also talked about friendship and what it means to be a good friend. As you know, it was Ally Week at Baker, and for us that meant thinking about what friends do, and how they treat each other. These are the children’s ideas of what it means to be a friend:
- Playing with someone
- Being nice to them
- Standing up for people
- Being kind
- Telling them “nice job”
- Comforting them when they cry
- Getting a bandaid when someone is hurt
- Not fighting
- But if you do fight, solving the problem
To help guide our conversation, 6th grader, Flor, who is a member of Baker’s GSA, read The Invisible Boy to us. Then, she discussed with us what it means to be an ally. The children were pleased to discover that all of their ideas of what a friend does, are the same things an ally does. Being an ally is all about being a kind friend and an upstander, which are skills we work on every day in Kindergarten.
We ended Ally Week by attending an assembly with the big kids, but this time we went with our 6th grade buddies. In the Ally Week assembly, we sang the Baker School song and watched a video of students in the school explaining what it means to be an ally. Then we had a dance party to the song We Are Family. But what made it really special was sitting with our buddies.
Buddies are a really unique part of a Baker education. We get to see our big buddies regularly and build friendships with them. What a lovely opportunity it is to make connections to other children at Baker. Part of being an effective collaborator is knowing how to work with people who are different from you and having buddies is a lovely way to practice that kind of collaboration. The sixth graders bring knowledge and abilities we don’t have yet and we bring our creativity and and enthusiasm. Who knows what amazing collaborations might ensue? Both the kindergarteners and the 6th graders are very excited to have more chances to play and learn together.
Our second focus for the week was symmetry. We started off by making paint and fold butterflies. What you paint on one side is then transferred to the other side by folding and “smooshing” the two sides together, which creates a symmetrical butterfly. We followed this up with symmetry puzzles, which had painted dots on one side of a butterfly’s wing to be matched on the other side, with plastic dots. Then we did the very tricky work of looking at half of a butterfly and trying to draw the other side to match. The children really looked closely at the details of the wings in order to make symmetry. We will continue to explore the concept of symmetry as we make our own kid sized wings. This will allow us also to work in a much larger scale than we have previously. We have slowly been growing in scale from their small observation drawings up to human scaled butterflies.
I am looking forward to more learning adventures with the children next week!