Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools!

April Fools day in kindergarten can go two ways.  For the first, you spend the day pretending to be shocked that there is an elephant behind you while your children giggle hysterically and shout "April Fools".
 (*note, this is an example of why teaching probability in kindergarten is an uphill battle. If a five year old thinks they can actually trick an adult into thinking there is truly an elephant in the classroom, then their understanding of what is probable just isn't quite there yet. Why would they be able to use logic to determine how many green blocks I'll pull out of a bag if they think it is entirely possible for there to be an elephant in the classroom?*)

But back to April Fools.

The other option is for the kinders to not even notice that it is April 1st, or not have any concept of what April Fools day is. If your class is leaning in this direction, typically no one is going to sway them in the other direction. I mean, if it can be a normal day, then so be it. Hang on to that dream. Yet all it takes is one kid- just one- who comes into the classroom in the morning announcing the special nature of the day and you have to prepare yourself for a day of illogical tricks.

Every year I hope for option two. Two years ago, however, I had the best April Fools experience ever.  I'm still proud of it, so I recommend clicking over to see what we did...

Today I went to go pick up some of my friends with language delays for our morning group only to find one of them swatting his head and looking concerned. A bright girl in the class had told him he had a spider on his head, but had forgotten to add "April Fools" to her trick. My poor, slightly socially behind friend truly believed he was fighting off a spider.  As I stood there the trickster turned to another one of my language group kiddos. "Oh no!" she giggled, "You have a SNAKE on your head!"  My friend, who is working very, very hard on reading other people's social cues, looked utterly panicked and confused, and when he discovered that there was not, in fact, a snake on his head he looked pissed.

I pulled the friends into language group quickly so I could begin to explain what on earth was going on today. Then we practiced accepting jokes and telling people "You're so silly!" instead of getting mad when someone plays an April Fools trick on us.  By the end of our session I think they got it. They even had hand motions to use when dismissing the silly joke.

April Fools and having a learning disability that impacts your social perception of the world is probably not the best combination. Poor kiddos. Hopefully they did not spend the rest of the day worried they had spiders crawling on their heads...

1 comment:

Snippety Gibbet said...

Uh oh. I MAY know where the elephant April Fool's joke started. = x