Lunchtime Learning

One never knows what to expect from lunchtime conversations.  Some days, the topics range from magical stories to regaling recent vacations. At other times you might hear discussions on “current events” such as whose birthday party is coming up next  or “Do you want to play ‘What Time is it Mr. Fox’ at recess?”  It can be quite fun to eavesdrop on the discourse of children.

The conversation circling the lunch table today was a teacher’s dream.  Before us was the ideal moment when play, language, child initiative and learning collide.  We were still getting food settled on the table when we became aware of the discussion.  One of the children was commenting on his family.

“My Daddy is handsome, my Mommy is pretty and I’m handsome, too!”

This lead to a numerical comparison of male and female household members.  All participants offered up their gender breakdown.  There were connections made, patterns discovered and people counted with 1 to 1 correspondence.

“I have two boys and two girls.  One of the boys is my cat.”

This discussion quickly morphed into word play.  The children began creating rhymes for their names, practicing letter substitution by replacing the first letter of a name with a new one.  Within seconds, members of the group noticed the class names on the window.

“We both have a ‘y’. That’s what is the same!”

And just like that, a single discussion bounced through many learning trajectories.

This entire interaction took no more than six minutes. It involved five children and no adults.  (Mrs. Pless and I were watching with rapt attention three feet away, unnoticed by the diners.)  Yet, this conversation included more instances of mathematics, literacy language and practice than we could hope for in a teacher led discussion.  Not to mention all of the social, emotional and physical practice each student underwent during this short snapshot of lunch.

Children are amazing in their ability to learn.  They do so with or without our input.  They will practice what they know and push ideas further.  Our surprisingly simple job as adults is just to provide them with the tools, be it language or concrete experiences, and support while they grow.

Lunch Orders

Please remember that if your child will be ordering lunch on a regular basis, you are to place your orders one week ahead of time.  You can find your lunch menus and order form at the Dining Services WT page.  Ordering online this year is new and we expect a bit of adjustment as we move forward.  At this time, about 50% of the children who actually order everyday have pre-ordered.  With this in mind, the food service could be short on a particular food item if many more request it at lunch than previously ordered.

For those rare days when an emergency lunch is needed (What do you mean, “You left your lunch box under your bed????”), don’t despair.  Have your child tell his or her teacher as soon as they can in the morning.  Our food service always prepares a few meals over the expected order “just in case”.  Our chefs and food service workers have families, too, and know well that even the best laid plans can sometimes go awry.

Mrs. Forst Changes Her Mind

Or, To Lunch or Not to Lunch

After a few conversations with parents and some reflection, I have changed our upcoming daily schedule just a bit.  Previously I had scheduled lunch at 11:30.  My thought process had been that with an earlier lunch time, our full day children would have the opportunity to add an outside time before going to their specialist classes in the afternoon.  Yet after rumination, having the daily transition for both 1/2 day students and full time students occur at noon makes more sense.

With this in mind, I’ve updated the schedule handout found in the Helpful Documents section of this site.  Hopefully, this will not change your family’s plans too much.  However, spending this much time talking and thinking about lunch has certainly made me hungry…