Celebration honoured. This is the loveliest of reasons to share. Join Ruth Ayres who shares a Celebration Link up on her blog each week.
This week I am celebrating how amusing and amazing my students are by sharing a few of the things that made me laugh or made me pause.
1. My class had the opportunity to go to the forest and participate in outdoor games with some high school students who are taking an outdoor education course. It was less than a 25 minute bus ride away but for some of my students, a completely “other” world. In our pre-trip discussions about what we might see, one child predicted elephants . . .
There was a mixture of fear
“I’m scared – of the dark, the prickles, the bugs, the dirt . . .”
And huge excitement:
“I’m ready for the trip! I packed my nopulars so I can see near and far.”
Nopulars (binoculars) do help with that! All children had an amazing time! Within seconds of sitting back on the bus, I heard, “Can we come back here?” multiple times.
2. As we continue to study the ocean and all of the amazing sea creatures that live in its waters, I have the chance to read aloud many fabulous nonfiction titles. Friday, we started reading Here Come the Humpbacks written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Jamie Hogan
One of my students was fascinated that whales are also mammals and that the baby whale rolls when it is born and breaks the umbilical cord attaching it to its mother. All morning she kept telling me:
“I really love talking about the hunchback whales.”
In the first few pages of the book, the author explains that the male humpbacks have scars on their skin from past competitions. This sparked an interesting conversation.
“What competition? Races?”
“No. They are competing for the girl whales.”
“Why do they have to have competitions? Isn’t there enough girls to go around?”
3. I found a book at the public library this weekend that I just had to bring in and share with my class: Wild by Emily Hughes
After reading the book aloud, I admitted that I really loved the book and wished I had a copy for our classroom. One child remarked:
“You really should buy it. Otherwise, you might go a little crazy.”
4. Right now we are reading the novel The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
This is a seriously beautiful book to read aloud and there are many moments of silence where we just allow for space and thinking. If you know the story (as I know so many of us do), we are at the part when the baby elephant, Ruby has arrived. Students have needed to talk a lot about how the older elephant Stella has felt about the baby coming. When Stella announces that she can hear a baby elephant coming because she can hear her crying, Ivan tells her that she is just hoping. “No,” Stella says softly,”Not hoping. Not at all.” It took the children some time to get what this meant. Slowly, through discussion they recognized that Stella didn’t want a baby to come and experience the captivity that the animals at the Bg Top Mall experienced.
The next day, I knew it had really sunk in when we read this part:
“Relax, Stella,” I say. “It will be okay.”
“Ivan,” Stella says, it will never, ever be okay,” and I know enough to stop talking.
I paused. The class was quiet. One voice piped up
“Stella doesn’t want the baby to feel what they feel. . . to feel locked up and sad.”
We all continued to sit in silence for another few moments until another child prompted, “Okay, you can read now.”
This book’s magic is in these multiple moments of understanding and compassion that we quietly share.
I celebrate spending each day with children who make me smile – for so many reasons. What are you celebrating in your week?
Have you seen this video? Your kids might enjoy seeing this during their ocean unit. 🙂 http://higherperspective.com/2014/03/whale-tangled-net-left-die-way-thanked-rescuer-astonishing.html I love your celebrations this week!
Thanks so much Holly. I am excited to share this with the kids!
Haha. I love the kid’s reaction to you getting a copy of Wild. I was just talking about that book yesterday to a customer. Great message and fun illustrations. Have a great week! -Earl!
It is a great book. And you know, I couldn’t risk crazy so I now own my own copy 🙂
I didn’t expect to add to my book list today, too, Carrie, but thanks! I adore when you share your students’ words. Just lovely to hear. So happy you had the trip. In my earlier ‘first grade’ days, I had children whose big trip on the weekends was to Kmart, so I understand your students’ trepidations, and love that you all had a wonderful time! Have a great weekend!
I love to share Linda! Children always have the best comments! It is so important to try and find ways to build experiences into our learning – such power in getting out of our neighbourhood and exploring new environments. The kids truly loved it.
Love all your celebrations. My students and I seem to be on a similar journey as yours. We just came home from an outdoor adventure that they were excited but nervous about. In the end they all wanted to stay there. We read Ivan too. Powerful impact on me and my students.
Also, just love the students’ comments! Perfect.
Ivan is so so powerful. This is my third time reading it – first I read it on my own, then with my student book club and now to my students. As a read aloud – wow!
This post made me realize how much I miss working with younger students for all the fun things they say. I laughed out loud at the comment about buying the book or you might go crazy. And I just love the way you were given permission to continue to read aloud. I love those silences and the way kids love great literature.
They are pretty funny kids and they know me so well. Thankfully, they are as book crazy as I am!
This was a very touching post. I need to write down what some of my kids say. They move me and make me laugh all the time. This one “You really should buy it. Otherwise, you might go a little crazy.” made me laugh out loud. My kids say stuff like that to me all the time. I might have to buy it too, it looks great.
And like I said above – I did end up buying it. Some books I just can’t resist. Well, okay – lots of books I can’t resist!
Oh those second graders sound so fun! I love how they pronounce their words. You must just laugh all day. Ivan is such a beautiful book to share with your class.
I do laugh a LOT. They are precious! And full of great ideas/perspectives about the world.
What a contrast to think about One and Only Ivan after seeing the children in the nature, or learning about oceans or reading “Wild.” It’s valuable to record the words of the students – they can make us laugh or show how deep their thinking runs.
Oh so very true – each thing that you say! Ivan is really having a big impact on their thinking.
I love that line about how you better buy that book or you might go a little crazy. 🙂
And of course, I bought the book!