(No try that again in the voice and with the beautiful accent of Ricky Ricardo. Much better.)
Imagine my excitement when I get the twitter notification that @Leah O’Donnell – our literacy coach tagged my in a picture she tweeted!
Now in typical “I Love Lucy” fashion that excitement turns to horror when I see the picture and heading.
Wait Leah - don’t cry… oh no Karen, don’t fire me. If I have learned one thing from Leah, which of course I haven’t, I’ve learned hundreds of things, is that a picture can tell so many stories and this was just one that had to be told.
Which is why I am sitting here in the dark at 4:24a.m. writing this blog. I could not sleep without getting the behind the scenes story out of my mind.
So what you cannot see in this picture is the following:
- You cannot see that this is the first group of 6 ELLs in my 3rd grade pull out group with which we started, I repeat started building this chart with, more to come on that.
- You cannot see that some post-its are on top of another because if you said the same thing we didn’t say someone already said that, you still get a post it on the chart you just happen to agree with someone else.
- You cannot see the tub of “Famous Americans” Materials under this Chart, which I showed to activate prior knowledge. Books about Abe Lincoln, George Washington and even Betsy Ross.
- You cannot see the walk we took to read some of our own third graders campaign posters right out side our door.
- You cannot see the book we were going to read afterwards” to add to our poster after with additional ideas.
- You cannot see the handout with a outline to then write in some of our qualities that as a group we came to a consensus were indeed true qualities of a good president /leader, third grade or otherwise.
If you notice on the picture, there is strategic placement of the word smart (head), caring and kind and yes even nice near the heart and hard working near the foot as if someone where hiking off to work. Why do I mention this, because minutes later when I see two of theses students entering their additional intervention group they were able to repeat at least 3 of these qualities because of the part of the body I pointed to (TPR).
Notice I did place “Cool” and “Nice” outside the body outline because I did remind them that character traits could go way beyond “nice”. But I did not want to discredit these because they came from a student who is special needs and when I tried to coach her said the following.
ME: Would you vote for someone who steals?
Her: Immediately responded “YES” with a smile (OK maybe she knows more about politics than I think) but no, that’s not it.
ME: “Do you no what stealing means?
HER: immediately responded “NO!“
The other five students gasped as loudly as I did and silence was heard for what seemed like an eternity, before I went on to explain individually while the others continued thinking So, yes I let her add NICE!
Wait did I say character traits a couple of paragraphs back? Yes I did. To which another student responded WE DON’T DO THAT ANYMORE”. Are you kidding me? Do not let Mrs. O’Donnell hear that, she’s too young to die! So yes, I let him add COOL!
Fast-forward a few days. I have now also met with the less verbally challenged group of third graders, which went through a similar lesson, then added on the one their counterparts had started. Did they complain when I took “Nice” and “Cool” off the table? Yes they did but look at what it challenged them to do. They added the following words: Confident, respectful, good listener, responsible. Did I mention I told them it would be placed near the polling place for all other third graders to consider before casting their votes?
So Leah I hope your not disappointed by the first picture because learning is a process and we can’t always see that in a quick photo.
Thanks for making me feel like I had “some splainin' to do!”
Can’t remember the last time I blogged. Although it is not as eloquent as your writing, it is part of my everyday adventures as La Maestra Carrera.