As a teacher, sometimes its tempting to simply tell children the answer to a question rather than taking the time to guide them through their own exploration. When you have the time, its worth the investment to watch the joy that comes with a new discovery.
I recently overheard two four year olds, a boy and girl, talking about favorite colors:
B: Ill do it purple because I know you like purple and pink. Theyre your favorite colors.
G: Ill do it red because you like red. (beat) I dont like red at all.
I could see B getting ready to take offense.
Me: Im surprised you dont like red. Its kinda like pink and purple.
Me: Red is like pink.
Me: Do you know what happens when you mix red and white?
G: No, what?
We found some paint and she tested the red on the paper, then I squirted a generous amount of white in the cup and she mixed it with her brush.
G: Wow! Look at that pretty color!
She swirled it around, creating a pig colored cloud on the paper.
Me: What would you call that color?
Me: So red plus white makes….
Teachable Moment seized.