Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Missing My Geniuses!

It's been such a long time since I've sat down to blog... Don't you hate how life gets in the way sometimes?! Last week we had two snow days and got thrown off of our genius schedule a little bit, and I've missed school twice this week already for medical issues. I've decided that hospitals are only a fun place to be when they're actually delivering your baby. Not so great when they just repeatedly draw your blood like evil vampires in lab coats and inject you with enough fluids that you're pretty sure you'll never need to drink water again.

Although a Shirley Temple would be fantastic...

Back to the classroom! Last week we were Vital, Wise and Inventive. As you may already be aware, First Grade students don't need a whole lot of encouragement to be vital and full of life! ;) On Monday we talked about what it might mean to be vital - We decided with a little help from a Google search that to be vital we would need to be aware of everything around us and that we should try to have lots of energy. It was certainly an interesting atmosphere!!

We missed school on Tuesday and Wednesday, but Thursday found us to be very wise. We all know we're geniuses, but today we discussed being special geniuses at doing certain things. We all have great knowledge and talents that we can share with the world, so I asked the kids to share them with our class. I'm hoping that if I can get back to school these next two days before maternity leave, I'll be able to have them write about and illustrate their knowledge! It was so awesome - Some of our kids are very wise when it comes to hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, drawing, reading and (of course) video games! They were so proud when they could share their wisdom with their friends - It would be extra special if I could get it posted here for you all to see!

Friday was a day for inventions. Mrs. Sigler's been having a hunch that baby might make an appearance before his scheduled date, so we decided to make up our Valentine's bags a bit early! After missing the beginning of this week, I'm glad we got started when we did! I gave each student a large paper bag with handles from the local grocery store and asked the students to use their imagination and creativity to create something new from this bag. I gave them all kinds of colored paper, some foam shapes, glue, staplers, tape and even some craft sticks, then let them go hog wild! One paper bag was made into a car, complete with wheels on the bottom and cut-out windows for the driver. One was turned into a person, with kinky arms coming out from the sides. Yet another became a house with a door cut in the bottom for cards to slip in! The possibilities were absolutely endless and it was so neat to watch it all come together.

I've been asked if allowing the students to demonstrate their genius in this fashion creates a hectic or chaotic classroom. Some days, the answer is no. The kids get so involved in what they're creating that you could hear a pin drop for 30 minutes at a time! Some days, the answer is yes. Big time. :) But you know what? I learn the most about my kids on those days. I learn about their passions and their dreams. I learn about who they really are and what motivates them. And most of all, I learn about myself. It's a great reminder of why I do what I do... I don't teach so I can control these little people and force them to do my bidding. I teach because I truly do want to change the world. If you've somehow forgotten that, let your children show you their genius. It just might inspire you to find your own!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely thoughts. I also taught first grade back in the late 80's. Seat work was expected. So glad to see you encouraging each child to be vital, wise, and inventive.