Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I Love Second Graders

“Did you know that Ms. Barr is going to CANCEL recess? What if that were true? How would you feel? What emotions would you have?” My graduate student asked this of four second grade students in a special education classroom. They may all have learning disabilities and struggle with reading and writing but there is nothing wrong with their critical thinking skills. They said they would feel emotions like:

Happy. “I could stay inside.” (On those rainy days that might be nice!)
Disgraced. “Yes, I would feel disgraced if I had to stay in every single day,” said Bao.
Embarrassed. “Why would you feel embarrassed?” asked the teacher. “I would feel embarrassed because we would be the ONLY school around that didn’t get recess!” answered Lillie.

Cancelled recess wasn’t true of course, but it was a writing prompt to which each child could personally relate. They wrote a letter to Ms. Barr telling her how they felt about it and why they felt that way. The children struggled to sound out the words, working hard to put their own thoughts down on paper and to share how they felt with another person. This is writing!

Such a fun day I had. I love winter quarter when I have practicum students out in schools and I have the opportunity to visit, watch, listen, laugh and learn. One small boy with significant bouncing and rocking issues chanted, “Think. Think. Think. Think,” in time to his movements as he sounded out unknown words. I am going to try this technique next time I have a difficult writing task.

Thank you for sharing your day with me!

1 comment:

Gina said...

Kids are such a great gift. Often just being in their presence helps the world seem less harsh and gives me a feeling that everything is going to be alright. I miss teaching, because of times like these!! Thanks for sharing.