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Strings, Jacob’s Ladder, and Perseverance!

December 14, 2022 | Bridget O'Dowd

The introduction of string challenges in kindergarten provides an opportunity for a variety of skills to be built, including sequencing, prepositions, ordinal numbers, symmetry, dexterity, and body awareness. Students are excited about the challenge of “Jacob’s Ladder” and work daily to remember the words and steps necessary for accomplishing this goal.

In addition, and more importantly, string constructions allow students to practice making mistakes, receive help from a peer, and eventually be congratulated within their community for success.

String work requires a lot of focus and concentration. We repeat words and phrases together to help remember the various steps. Students remember to start together, stay together, and stop together. They have learned the word “persevere” and practice encouraging each other by saying, “Don’t give up!” “Try again!” “You can do it!”
If a student laments and says, “This is too hard.” others quickly chime in with a chorus of, “Keep going!” “Want me to help you?” “You can do it!” This dialogue becomes internalized and serves students well as they enter the world of writing and reading.

Strings are easy to create with yarn, and they make a great activity for anywhere you go!

There is so much excitement when children master a new step, and of course when they make it to Jacob’s Ladder for the first time! The children are met with cheers from their peers and many congratulations! It is nice to see their pride following such perseverance!

Bridget O'Dowd

Ms. O’Dowd came to Mustard Seed in 2017, after moving to Hoboken in 2016. She found a school and a community all in one package at Mustard Seed! Having taught kindergarten in Illinois before moving to New Jersey, Ms. O’Dowd has a passion for five-year-olds. She’s delighted to be a part of the kindergarten team and loves to read and share in story with students. Her favorite moment of the day is during a good read aloud, when she looks out and sees the faces of children showing empathy and emotion in response to the story. Ms. O’Dowd’s hobbies include exploring new neighborhoods, watching BBC documentaries, traveling to visit family, and eating her way through New York City.

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