I have had many weeks in my years of teaching where I have felt the magic and satisfaction of watching learning make it’s mark on little people and where that feeling has changed me just a little. But this week was one of the best.
I currently work with young learners with some pretty complex medical and developmental histories. We are happy together and, though each year the classroom family changes a little, the friendships that develop as the children play, observe, listen and interact together have a significant impact on their learning and being. This week I felt at times that I was on the edge of what was really happening. It was exciting to watch …….different elements of exploring stories, and reading, and word making, and visualising (and more) came together as we collaboratively retold a story. I was the scribe as none of them are quite at that stage yet. But everyone contributed, building on the sharing of others, and together we completed the project.
I was going to say task…….but I don’t really like the word as it seems to have some toil about it!!!
Sometimes together, and sometimes with one to one support, the children have been writing the story for themselves. It seems to flow and, with no sense of isolation, they have been doing so well and feeling good. And there was a definite sense of ‘REALLY?’ when I shared it with each of their parents at our OPEN TIME afternoon. Some of the personal writing is not finished but we will complete it soon and find the best way to display it for them to keep as a piece of learning treasure.
I read a quote on Twitter this morning: “Observe, and in that observation there is neither the observer nor the observed — there is only observation taking place.” I liked that because it seemed to express something of what has been happening, and it has been so positive.
And it happened again at the end of the week. A group of friends from P1 mainstream class came to join one of us for Active Maths. I had a plan……and I had some resources ready……but I had a bit of an accident with a walking frame and a painful, bleeding finger as a result! So as they tumbled into the classroom, full of Friday afternoon energy, I made a decision to let them explore any way they would!
Well…..I could not have imagined what would take place. Creating long chains with links…..led to spontaneously measuring the classroom by two of them. Pizza creating with 10 pieces in each – actually a resource called Place Value Petals , no longer available – led to working out how many could be at the party counting in 10s, and that was 160 just as our Head Teacher appeared in the room! And the number grew afterwards and when we tidied them up into 3 towers they could see that two were missing……and they turned up under the wheel chair. The suitcase of colourful shirts, shoes, socks and shorts led to the five anticipated outfits but then a very shy little girl, who has rarely said anything to me directly, put together an outfit with the left over pieces and said ‘ Now all we need is a head!’ And when I pointed to the paper tray she came back and completed the head with a smile! I took a photo with the iPad and I know I’ll remember much more than what I see when I look at that one in the future. Her smile and connecting with me said it all!
Today I’m still feeling the finger a little but it will heal before long and I will certainly be aware of the observations for much longer!!
Have a good weekend!