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May I Please Have a Turn?

October 7, 2020 | Kristen Jordan

What can you do if someone has something that you want?  

What does taking turns mean?

In addition to learning routines, getting to know each other, playing and working hard, these questions have been on our minds and in our discussions. 

It can be hard to exercise impulse control when someone else has something you want.

For instance, when you would like a turn at holding a fun branch…

Or when storytelling with small figures…

We have been working with the children on how to use words to say things like:

“Could I please have a turn?” 

“I’d like to play with those blocks too.”

“May I please have that book?” 

And also how to respond:

“I’m using it now but when I’m done, you can have it.” 

“Sure, here you go!”  


Sometimes you have to wait to play with that stick.

Or when you really want to hold that cute little ant.

And that can feel hard.

The children have really been thinking about how to use words to solve problems and express their needs.  Sometimes, just saying something like “It feels hard to wait” or “I feel disappointed that I don’t get to play with that now” can help so much with regulating emotions. That, in turn, can actually make it easier to be patient.  

The children have really thought about what it means to take turns and they came up with some great ideas! 

Do you hear any of this language or see any of these ideas in this interaction?

Children sharing

Ms Gluckow has been working with the children and their bears on many of these ideas in the drama area as they enjoy being a server, preparing food, and enjoy a meal together.  They are practicing helping friends, thinking about others’ needs, and waiting for their turn as they play. 

Acting out ideas through imaginary play gives children the opportunity to develop a repertoire of language and skills that they can then use when they are in real-life situations where they may have to wait, share materials, take a turn, or use words to express their wants or needs.

They are likely unaware of learning and practicing these habits because it’s just so much fun to play with bears and friends!  

Sharing, working together, using words to express what you want, and waiting are all big and important parts of being in school, particularly when you are a 3, 4 or 5 year old.  We will continue to work with children all year as we help them develop these skills and habits. 

And, speaking of waiting your turn…

it was REALLY HARD to have to wait to make clothing for the bears!  However, it was well worth it!   Each child took such thought and care in choosing an outfit for his or her bear.  We thought you’d enjoy seeing the results!

Kristen Jordan

Teacher, Rivers Class

Kristen Jordan began helping at Mustard Seed School in 2006, after her daughter had been a student in the preschool. She substituted for many years in all grades; in 2011, she returned to the classroom and has been a teacher in The Nest ever since.

Prior to the birth of her daughter Clara, in 2002, Ms. Jordan worked in Brooklyn as a first grade teacher with the New York City Public Schools. During this time, her school collaborated with the Brooklyn Museum, and this work helped Ms. Jordan develop a real interest in the parallels between the process of making art and the process of writing in the classroom. She thoroughly enjoys teaching both art and literacy to preschoolers.

Ms Jordan’s background includes work with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. While at Teachers College, she trained with esteemed educator and author Lucy Calkins. Early in her teaching career, Ms. Jordan did not think that she wanted to teach very young children but her view has changed! She now really enjoys and takes great interest in young children and their development.

Ms. Jordan enjoys reading, working out, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her daughter and family. Although she has lived on the East Coast for a very long time, as a native of Oregon, she really loves the mountains!

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