Lots of drops

The word “drop’ all by itself is a fun word but to combine the word with other words like gum drops, lemon drops, and rain drops the word “drop” can lead to even more fun…

I introduced the song, “If all the rain drops were lemon drops and gum drops” by writing the word drop on this chart….

I asked my students to help me think of picture words we could add to the word “drop” to make a new word. To get them started, I drew a raindrop on the paper and the children easily caught on to the idea and then with a few hints from me, the children came up with the words, “gum drop, and lemon drop.” …

And this is where I messed up. I was so focused on introducing the children to that song that when one of my students added the word “strawberry” to our list of drops – I didn’t think to just run with it and let the children make up more fun-drop words!  Don’t you hate when you miss a fun opportunity because you were too focused on your own agenda?  Well I missed it.  I added the strawberry but when we went to sing the song my student said, “and don’t forget about the strawberry drop!” But I didn’t add the strawberry drop to our song…

If I had to do this all over again – and I hope I get the chance – I will just change that silly song to whatever drop my students like.  I mean, how hard would have been to sing, “If all the raindrops were strawberry drops and ____ drops!”  Well even though I regret my missed opportunity, the day didn’t stop there and soon my students were having fun making gumdrop sculptures…

The children found gum drops and toothpicks set out to explore any way they wish…

In fact, we were actually engineering all kinds of shapes and structures with gum drops…

But one little girl spent more time at the table than any one else and what do you think she was busy making?  Yep – lollipop gumdrops…

She had orange drops, lime drops, strawberry drops, grape drops, white drops, all lined up in a row. Now if I had followed the lead of my strawberry drop girl earlier, we could now be singing, “If all the lime drops were orange drops and grape drops!”  But no, I dropped the ball completely! Darn, darn, darn!!…

We could have went back to our chart and added more drops later in the day but sometimes a missed opportunity is just that – a missed opportunity.  By the time the children were done playing in all of our centers for the morning, they had moved on to other topics of interest…


I assure you, the children didn’t feel or perhaps even notice this missed opportunity to expand on one of their ideas but I am telling you this story today so that you won’t have to go home kicking yourself like I did.

If your students take an idea you share to a place you didn’t expect it to go…

Just go!

Change the song, change the plan, make up something new – but whatever you do – DON”T DROP THE BALL like I did and miss out on an opportunity that may just be better…

So in the end, my students didn’t remember the raindrop song at all. Boo hoo (add tear drops to that list)! In the future, I hope I can remember to really listen to what my students are saying and follow their lead. I don’t want to have to keep writing posts about how I missed out on a moment that was most likely irreplaceable…

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By |2012-11-11T10:00:21+00:00November 11th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Maggie November 11, 2012 at 11:10 am - Reply

    It sounds like you engage in a lot of self-talk while teaching. I did that too. I was constantly trying to follow what I had planned, talking my way through it in my head, critiquing myself on the spot, trying to be receptive to kids’ needs in the moment, synthesizing their needs with what I was trying to accomplish…it was mentally exhausting!

    One of the luxuries of working with children so small (I would suspect, anyway, as I do not teach preschoolers, but am now a parent of one), is that they are glad to do (mostly) whatever you ask them to do. Even though you “dropped the ball,” take comfort in knowing that they don’t think that, and bless their hearts, aren’t even aware that there is such a thing as a ball to be dropped at this point in their lives.

    I know if you wanted to try that lesson again in a few weeks, or tomorrow, they would love it. And they’d be honored that you took their suggestions!

    Lucky are your students to have such a conscientious, pragmatic, FUN teacher! 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      This is such a sweet and encouraging comment Maggie:) Yes, I think I do a lot of self-talk and analyzing as to what is best in my role as the teacher all through out the day – and yes – it is exhausting! LOL!

  2. Carrie November 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Love how you shared what didn’t work for you and then gave an idea to change it. Thanks for sharing that!

  3. Cathie November 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    Sounds like a fun activity for children and adults both! Thanks for sharing.

    Cathie at toddlersthroughpreschool.com

  4. ayn November 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    What a great idea! I have used marshmallows for years, but never thought of using gumdrops for constructing. I’ve got to try this! And as for the missed opportunity, chalk it up to a “teacher’s teachable moment” and give yourself the credit for reflecting and realizing it. I’ll bet you’ll remember next time!

    It was so lovely to meet you in Atlanta! 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 11, 2012 at 10:47 pm - Reply

      Oh my goodness – it was SO terrific meeting you too Ayn! I will chalk it up to a “teacher’s teachable moment” 🙂 Now that I have met you personally, it makes writing you even more fun!

  5. Susan Case November 12, 2012 at 9:17 am - Reply

    I wouldn’t beret yourself over a missed opportunity. I’m sure the children learned a lot that day and had a wonderful time. Who wouldn’t? They are probably remembering the sensory feel of the drops. But I do know we all miss opportunities and that just makes us more open next time. Love your photos!

  6. Carla November 12, 2012 at 10:05 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing. I truly enjoy your posts everyday.

  7. Janet T. November 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    okay, so I gotta ask… Do they get to eat them? I know that’s the first thing they’re going to ask me. I love the idea. Gum drops will stick a bit and have a better hold on the toothpicks.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm - Reply

      Yes, we set aside a cup of gumdrops for the kids to eat with their snack later in the morning. The kids see the cup sitting up on the counter top ready to go so they know they will get to eat some too:)

  8. Mary November 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Bright, colorful, fun, and very creative activity. Thank you for sharing. Best, [email protected] diligentnanny.webs.com
    Also at https://www.projectsbyMtetar.wordpress.com

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