The other day I had a job in a Pre-K classroom.
Most of the students are close to 5 years old, and will be wading in to Kindergarten in the Fall.
It being the beginning of a new month, the teacher was setting up for a new theme for games and decorations and books. I got to be the adult who would carefully open the box for a brand new jigsaw puzzle with many kinds of fish in the picture. The piece sizes were about 6 inches, ready for small hands to manipulate and put together on the floor in the carpet area.
The students sorted themselves into play groups, one of those new-fangled ideas about freedom of choice, which makes for interesting educational experience.
I watched one kid go over to the puzzle pile on the floor, pull out a piece and put it under his bottom. Hiding it from the others. One smart kid kinda took charge, saying they should turn over all the pieces so they could see the picture, laying out the corner and edge pieces. He knew what he was doing, and most of the others got going to see what it would be.
It got down to the last piece. Everybody looked around, even lifting the edge of the carpet. The leader looked over at me with a helpless expression, thinking they would get into trouble, losing a piece of a brand new puzzle already.
Then the first kid moved a little, holding up the lost one and said “Hey, that piece is here!” then reached over and put it into place.
The other kids all gave a sigh of relief that the whole puzzle got done, and how great it was that he “found” it.
I wonder what need exists in a child’s heart that so craves the attention of putting in the last piece of a puzzle.
One they will be working with several times in the next few weeks.
Who shows a little kid how to do such a thing?
~~love and Huggs, Diane