Thursday, February 12, 2009
There is nothing quite like a child's perspective of the world. Sometimes their logic is so basic and genius that I wonder why we adults make life more complicated than it needs to be. And sometimes they make no sense at all - at least not to anyone but themselves. It is up to their audience to try to ascertain the meaning behind their utterances and actions.
I often tell myself to document the clever, odd little tidbits my students say but rarely remember to jot them down when they happen. And once it is said, it is gone.
However I have managed to collect a few;
This is an example of disconnected discourse in education. A situation in which the teacher is putting forth a message that is not getting through because the student has other things on his or her mind.
Teacher (during a reading conference about story elements): Take a look at the posters the class made showing the different places a story can happen. What is the setting in the book you are reading?
Student (perplexed): My eyebrows are moving by themselves.
She started moving her eyebrows up and down but it turns out that she was experiencing a bit of a twitch. Who knew?
Every morning we write a message on the whiteboard to share information or ask a question. Lately when we write our messages we purposefully make errors in capitalization, punctuation and spelling and ask the children to "Edit this Message".
One morning we wrote the sentence 'if i had three bundles of sticks with ten sticks in each bundle how many sticks would there be all together' In editing this message a little boy came up to the board. We pointed to the 'i' and asked him if he could fix it.
Student: You mean it needs to be a big 'i'?
This is how he wrote it - 'if i had three bundles...'
We should have been more specific.
This one is not school related but I got a kick out of it. I am with my friend's six-year-old daughter talking about music.
Gary: Which Jonas brother do you like the best?
She turns to me with wisdom beyond her years, a bit condescending and with perfect delivery.
Child: I'm not a fan.
(I love it!)
Lauren and I took our class trip to Town Hall on 43rd Street to see a theater production based on the children's book series Nate the Great. As we are getting off the subway I am holding on tight to one particular little boy who is 'high strung' in an effort to keep him close.
When we are going through the subway turnstiles I go first and he follows closely behind. Maybe a little too close. As push my way through the turnstile he misjudges and gets hit with one of the metal spokes. Behind me I hear "oh, my nuts!"
I chuckle but keep walking. He'll learn.