Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Friday morning.
School science fair.
The three and four-year-olds have been studying the life cycle of a butterfly.
They invite the seventh graders to visit their butterfly museum.
By the time I arrive, the presentation is over.
The seventh graders are seated with the little ones at centers around the room.
Mostly, they are coloring and reading and building puzzles.
There are lots of smiles, lots of hugs, lots of laughter.
I love watching the older kids with the little ones.

My eye is drawn to the construction center.
There are four or five older kids, all boys, building.
I don't see any little kids.
The boys are some of my most wiggly guys,
the ones I have to stand close to,
the ones I catch watching me read most often
during silent reading time
the ones who most depend on me for book suggestions,
the ones I regularly have to redirect.
They have come a long way this year,
and they are still hard work pretty much every day.

I stand for almost twenty minutes watching the builders.
They create, break, re-create.
Completely unaware of their surroundings.
Completely lost in the building zone.

Now, four days later, I can't stop thinking
about those moving hands and minds.
I think about a typical reading or writing workshop
and I wonder
how I can make it more like the block center
so these guys can learn better.


Ramona said...

How to make reading or writing workshop more like the block center? Such an interesting question, Carol. And this phrase: "they are still hard work pretty much every day." Kudos to you for watching and reflecting and caring for these boys every day. We need more teachers like you.

Jean said...

Such a problem...if only they had had more time to create and recreate during their school years? I love to read about your observation and pondering!

Mary Lee said...

Amen. When you work this out, let me know.