Tuesday, 24 September 2013

taking a vote on a philosophical question

As you may well remember that last week our philosophical dialogue finished with one of the children saying
"I have thought a little - I have an idea for everyone - how can we become small for real? How can we get there (to fairyland) They are so far away. How can we make ourselves into fairies?"

So today the children were reminded of what this child asked and that we had also said that we would take up her questions... and it is important that we do this - to ensure the children that we feel the importance of their words and ideas.
So I read out what she said and then continued that I could see three questions:
1. How can we make ourselves small for real?
2. How can we get to fairy land?
3. How can we become a fairy?

The children were allowed to vote - and the right to vote for every question if they so chose - and four of the ten children did.
It ended up with question 2. receiving five votes and questions 1. and 3. both receiving seven votes each. So there was a new vote - this time the children could ONLY vote for one question... this was much harder - especially for those enthusiastic children who like to stick their hand up for everything. BUT in the end question three received more than twice the votes of question one...

So today's philosophical question was chosen by the children...

How can we become a fairy?   thought pause for 30 seconds using an old fashioned timer
  • that you could use fairy dust - and then you wish - "I wish one is a fairy and can fly" (with fingers crossed)
  • I want to be a fairy that is gold - you need to glitter on - and sugar on - and on your dress
  • (does this mean you need to paint yourself gold to be a fairy?)
  • yes
  • one has to go up there (pointing to fairy door) one has to make magic so that you can fly (Can you make magic yourself?) - yes , hocuspocus and so you can fly...
  • er...er... I can magic, I can magic, I can magic everyone so that they can fly (If you can fly are you a fairy then?). I can magic (the child says all the children's names) so that they can fly...
  • isn't Suzanne going to fly?
  • yes
  • why didn't you say their names - Ellen and Suzanne?
  • we shall fly to my balcony - and then I will magic them and then they can't fly.
  • one can go to another land - where XX lives - and take a photo and then you become... One needs fairydust - in the eyes and in the body - and I want xxx to be with us and be a fairy.
  • where do you get fairy dust from?
  • From the fairies - and you need to ask nicely. And then put fairy dust in your eyes and on the head and then you become a fairy for real.
  • you can magic yourself into a fairy - I can't because I am not a witch (do you need to find a witch first?) yes (how do you get there) with the underground train (what should you do so that the withces turn you into a fairy?) I am going to magic the witches away - but the fairies don't want that (how will they turn us into fairies?) you have to tell them.
  • it is because - er, I... one has to fly up and... and... and then comes a feather and helps her to fly.

It is clear that our friend that has moved to USA recently is still very much a part of the children's lives - it is also clear that magic spells and flying (as well as fairy dust) are all important elements forthe children... as well as the underground train as this has popped up throughout the dialogues.
So now feel like a good time to take an excursion on the underground.
This makes me nervous... as I am not ENTIRELY sure how this group of 11 children would be on such an excursion (I have used public transport a lot with preschools over the years) - but another part of me feel that this could be EXACTLY what this group NEEDS to help them with their excursion listening skills. An opportunity to show us just how competent they are...
I want to take the underground - my gut feeling is that this will work - but there is that niggly worry of there being a healthy percentage of the children with a delightful natural curiosity which involves their ears stop functioning! Which is fine when one to one or in a family sized situation, but more tricky when it comes to larger groups...

But my gut feeling is saying... do this... let them surprise you... let them show you how much they have grown - let them see your trust in them...

Maybe its a case of taking a deep breath...

Lucky that Thursday and Friday are planning days (no children) so some serious time for Ellen and I to talk about this - and to plan it thoroughly... I am actually feeling VERY excited... I think this post has given me the confidence to do this...

Reflection REALLY is a wonderful thing...
a little time before the start os the dialogue while still waiting for everyone to arrive - three of the children explored a chair's alternative potential - or at least one chair alternative (100 language of chairs)

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