Thursday, September 12, 2013

Kindergarten Science = Tasting and Spitting

Center time in Kindergarten last week revolved around the five senses theme. While I was teaching a group of students about taste at the science center, a couple of noteworthy things happened. The children were given a variety of salty, sweet and bitter food items to try (pickles, M&M's, salt, sugar, lemons, etc.). On the first day teaching this center, I must not have been clear instructing the children to spit any food out on their napkin that they didn't like. While passing out some dark chocolate, which was only about the size of a slivered almond, I explained about the word bitter and turned around to see one little girl's belly button exposed as she wadded up her shirt, trying to hide the awful mess she had created by spitting her "taste" into the pink fabric. One cannot possibly believe what a teeny tiny amount of chocolate mixed with a little saliva can do to the garment of a five year old. I tried to clean her up but to no avail. I've a feeling not even Heloise would succeed at getting that stain out.

Another day, while working with a different group of students, I proceeded to explain that we were going to taste a variety of foods, when one of the boys told me, "I can't have anything." Thinking maybe he was hesitant because he could smell the pickles, I explained that they could spit anything out that they didn't like onto their napkin. This little guy just looked at me and as serious as can be he said, "I can't eat anything. I'm dropping weight for a tournament." I could NOT believe my ears. Never, in all of my years working in Kindergarten, have I heard such a somber and troubling expression from a five year old. 

Now I could rant and rave and tell you all how I feel about a Kindergarten child being forced to lose weight for sports, but I won't. It is reasons like this that I am happy to be a teacher's assistant and not a teacher. I just pass information on to Mrs. B. and let her deal with it. 


Ila Adkins said...

& I thought you were going to say he couldn't have anything because of an allergy. Most allergy-moms train their allergic child not to eat ANYTHING unless it is approved by them first. That's how I am with my little Cas. Nothing gets eaten without Mommy's approval.

Sadly, I understand this kindergardener weight for sports issue. My stepson was 7 years old when Marcus and I got together. I was shocked to see a 7 year old STUDY a nutritional label like a hawk before eating anything. It's kind of heartbreaking to see stuff like that. I remember just shoveling food down when I was a kid, didn't have a care in the world what it was.

Ila @

Carolina HeartStrings said...

Wow DeeAnn I think that is absolutely shocking that a 5 year old is being made to worry about wt drops. Very sad.

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