Sunday, September 22, 2013

I Think I Can, I Think I Can!

All Aboard!
Thinking about taking a trip? Need to know the best way to get around Germany? The TRAINS!! Germany’s major cities and many points of interest are interconnected by a well organized and easy to follow train system that includes Frankfurt airport.

One train system, the Inter City Express (ICE), is renown for its speed and comfort. Traveling with children? The ICE has family-friendly compartments called Kleinkindabteil that have room for strollers and tables for children to play/color on and children under 15 travel for free when accompanied by a parent/grandparent! There is also a restaurant car where you can enjoy a snack or a warm meal.
Germany also has night trains. The CityNightLine offers private rooms that include bathrooms and showers. Fall asleep and wake up anywhere in Germany or maybe Rome, Vienna, Paris, or Amsterdam! 
Trains are a great theme to use in the classroom as well. There are many wonderful stories about trains and of course Thomas the Train is well known among pre-k and kindergarten children. The book we love is The Little Engine That Could.
We use this book in the first week to set the motto for the school year. What does the Little Blue Engine say? “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!” Children relate to not knowing whether they can do something or not, but instead of saying “I Can’t!” they remember the Little Blue Engine and start saying “I think I can!”  And it works! Children are much more receptive to trying something, instead of immediately giving up.
We also incorporate the train theme in the classroom. There is the helper train for the job chart, the number train to keep count of the number of days we have come to school and we use “train tickets” (sample laminate chips from your friendly do-it- yourself store) as our center tags.

Toot! Toot! A train whistle is a wonderful way to get children’s attention. We use a train whistle to call children to the “Quiet Train” when getting on a line or when it is time to go inside from the playground. The sound of the train whistle has a great sound and it usually captures everybody’s attention, not just our class!   
If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Europe, feel free to drop us a line asking for the “how to” read the train lines in Europe!  Speaking of lines here’s another poll for you:  Do you think kindergarten children should be introduced to writing on lines from the start or should they be introduced  until second semester?

Do you think kindergarten children should be introduced to writing on lines from the start or should they be introduced until second semester?


Feel free to check out TheBeezyTeacher’s pinterest board on The Little Engine That Could  as well as the Youtubevideo of the book!

Just remember, when you are tired or having a rough day, say “I think I can, I think I can!” Have a great week!

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