Today we had our first lockdown drill, which many of you probably already know from speaking with your kindergartners. Yesterday, we discussed how we sometimes practice being safe at school with things called fire drills, lockdown drills and tornado drills. I showed the children what I would do and how I would act in the case of each, how I use a calm, quiet voice, how we move quietly and quickly in order to hear important directions.
The lockdown drill is usually something that brings questions and worries. I start by telling the students that there may be a time when we need to stay in the classroom, in a quiet corner with the lights off, and that I will always keep them safe. I emphasize that when we hear the announcement "this is a lockdown," their teachers will know what to do to keep us together and safe. When students ask "why" I usually say that somebody around the school may have seen something unsafe or worrying, and to keep us safe we stay put. When we hear "all-clear" then we take a nice deep breath and continue with our kindergarten day.
Everyone did a great job today in our drill. Afterwards at choice time, while a few children began talking about lockdowns, they also began to describe their understanding of the events at the Boston Marathon last year. I steered the conversation more towards understanding how we stay safe, rather than getting into the actual events. I did post something shortly after the marathon events about "look for the helpers--" look for the blog label news or helpers on the right side to view my post from last spring.