Beado’s Blunder: A laugh or cry situation

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My professional experience this semester is in a Prep class at the local Lutheran primary school. I am very aware that young children need to familiar with new people, and this class is no exception. I have decided to spend a few days in the classroom leading up to prac, and today was my second visit.

During ‘free play’ in the classroom, a number of activity stations had been set up to accommodate colouring, iPad’s and Beados. Beado’s (click for link to their website) have been chosen due to their high hand-eye coordination and fine motor skill development.

I must admit my hesitation and surprise that bowls of these small beads were set on the table and the ¬†students were allowed to do their patterning as they wished. I, personally, have not bought my 5 year old daughter Beado’s because of the high-risk of mess that comes with large numbers of small toys and young children!

I am assured by the teacher that the preppies are usually extremely careful and tidy when using the Beado’s. The teacher even remarked how proud she was of her students for being so careful with the beads.

As she finished her compliments, I turned to watch and admire these careful, diligent and responsible children at play. Like watching a train crash, everything turned to slow motion and I couldn’t turn away…

One of the girls used a large arm movement to describe her weekend’s follies and knocked 3 bowls of Beado’s onto the carpet!! This lead to her friends astonishment to respond with exaggerated movements, consequently knocking over the last two bowls of beads!

The result? The carpet was littered with beads that took the combined efforts of 20 children to clean up and collect.

The consequences? No more Beado’s for the next term because they were clearly not able to keep them on the table!

Whilst I was not surprised this event occurred, I felt for the teacher and the students. The teacher was shocked because this had never happened before, and was disappointed that such a useful tool will have to be discounted for a while.

Alternatively, though, it was a definite laugh or cry situation…I leaned towards laughing whilst the poor teacher was definitely on the verge of crying!! It was a great experience to see that, to even the 2013 Lutheran teacher of the year, things don’t always go to plan and things that may be successful one day may not work the next.

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