I didn’t get to share this yesterday, but when something awesome happens in your classroom, I am a firm believer that you have to shout it from the mountain tops! This has been a year where my mountain climbing days have not come frequently enough for my liking. I need to be the first to admit that a large part of that is my own fault. The reasons for that could probably fill up 3 posts (and not all of it the kinds of positive things I want to share.)
While reading Horton Hatches the Egg, I had one of my students that needs the most help made a comment that created a moment that made my week (not just my day.) During a rather uneventful reading session, we came to a point in the story toward the end where the controversial moment appears. SPOILER ALERT: for those of you who somehow have not read this story…
As Maysie the bird flies into the tent and finds Horton, she demands her egg back! At which point my student says, “Well, yeah its her egg!”
I could have ignored this statement because he called it out, but I was too tempted and could not resist! All I said was..”Is it?” All of the sudden I got a surprise. They were almost perfectly split, but time is up… we are going to lunch! Right before we leave I said, “we are changing plans and will have a debate later today.”
“What’s a debate?” my first graders responded.
“You’ll find out when we start…”
I had tried this sort of spontaneous act with my class before. Typically when taking an idea and running with it, we run head first into the wall! But, I will never stop trying and this is why…
The students picked their side of the argument Horton or Maysie. I made one a recorder for each group and gave them time to write down everyone’s ideas. I brought each group back to share their ideas and told them I would judge, not on what I thought, but on who convinced me the best. Each side had reasonably good ideas, so I decided to give them rebuttal opportunities. We recapped each sides idea and I gave them some talk time. Then asked them to explain “This argument is not important because…”
The answers were more profound than anything I had heard from my class all year.
That day I could not do any work after school. All I could do was spread the love. So many people have negative things to stay about the kids in my room. I find myself trying to defend them too often rather than talk about their best qualities. This for my class was a HUGE win and a big step in the right direction. It made me realize that I need to start spreading the love, not just about the big wins, but the little ones.
When your class or your school does something awesome, something good, or even something to make you smile or laugh. SPREAD THE LOVE. Share your stories and let the world know. If you don’t, who will?
Thanks for reading!