One Sunflower

Dear teacher,

on April 21, 2010

Fish bowl reflection:  I tried something new today – and I made some mistakes, but I learned a whole lot – about my practice and about my students.  And that’s the point, right?

 I used a student story as a model story and I had the student help me create the picture and choose the story line.  It was a risky move, luckily it went okay.  I wouldn’t do this on a regular basis and certainly not in the beginning of the year.  But it was kind of a good way to assess what this student knows about story and I think he really enjoyed it.  And no one copied his story when they moved to write in their own journals.  Plus – I had at least 20 teachers hanging out helping my kids in their writing. I decided to ask everyone to confer with my kids while they wrote -as long as they are in my room to learn something, they might as well make the learning a two-way street!   It was pretty neat to see.  By the way, check out the latest entry at my fellow blogger’s site: http://nurturingcuriosity.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/holding-on-lightly/   A response from The Fish:

Dear Teacher,

Thanks for helping me draw my cool story today.   I was kind of getting tired of telling stories about fighting snakes – but I just didn’t know that stuff I do with my family could be a story!

When mom started telling you my story on Tuesday, I was mad.  I wanted you to know my story, but I wasn’t ready to share it – and then she went and told it.   Oh well, I guess it was a good thing because then you talked to me about it at lunch.  You said you wanted to help me tell the story to the class with a picture.  I thought that might be kind of neat.  It made me feel special that you wanted to tell my story. 

I didn’t know you had been to that park too!  There was a lot of stuff that happened that day.  First of all, my whole family was there – Uncle J.J. and Alexis, and Kai Kai and Tay Tay and Samiah and mom and dad.  We went for walks on a lot of trails.  Mom was pushing a cart and it got stuck in the mud, we laughed.  Then I saw those water falls.  Two waterfalls!  One was really big, the other was littler.  There were some people on a log over the water.  I thought they would fall in.  We saw tons of fish in the ponds, tons!

Today, when I came to school and you weren’t there, I was worried I wouldn’t get to tell my story like you promised.  But then at breakfast Maestra told me that you were going to come to class at the end of the day and tell my story with me.  I started jumping up and down.  What was that word  you told us yesterday?  Incredible?  I felt incredible!

I waited and waited for you to come.  I tried so hard to be good today and not get into fights or say that bad word I said the other day.   I almost forgot you were coming until I saw you.  Then you said “bunches of teachers” were coming in and I didn’t understand what was happening.  Then a whole bunch of grown ups came in the door and I thought maybe I wasn’t going to get to tell my story.

But I did.  I know you wanted me to draw the people.  At least I showed you where to put them and who was there.  I like the way you drew the waterfall.  I copied that idea when I redrew the story in my journal.  I put a lot more water though. Those falls were really big.  I didn’t get to show mom in the mud or those spiky things I saw by the pond.  But I really liked my story and it was cool to get to have my friends Beta and Zed read it to everyone.  I bet they felt special when I picked them.

Anyway, I’ll probably tell that story again and again.  I’ll probably make the waterfalls even bigger and show the mud next time too.  And I could make the fish, maybe a snake in the pond too.  (I’m good at drawing snakes you know.)

I love you, Alpha

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