“Let’s do a a sentence ladder on our dry erase boards.” I watched as Thomas and Mary readied themselves. They were ready to use all we had been working on.
I dictated. They wrote. They thought. I watched. I watched them independently apply the word work from the past few days.
When they finished, I handed them a blank sheet of paper. “Pictures are important to readers and writers. Sketch the picture you had in your mind from your sentence.” I watched again for a few minutes as Mary sketched a picture similar to the one I might have drawn. Then, I glanced over the plexiglass to see Thomas’ sketch. I was taken by what I saw….two hands holding an open book. Not exactly what I thought he would sketch. “Tell me about what you were thinking about the sentence.” I needed to know more. “Well, the sentence was in a book and here’s the sketch that went with it.” “Wow, Thomas, what a cool idea! I would have drawn something like Mary’s.” At that Mary’s head popped up to see Thomas’ work. She chimed in saying, “Wow, that is cool Thomas.”
Last week, there were a few days where Chaos made its’ presence known. It was frustrating. It was annoying. The Chaos had nothing to do with kids but it had everything to do with kids. I had to remind myself that teaching in a hybrid model in the midst of a pandemic can fuel Chaos, but it does not mean that Chaos can rule the work we get to do together.
Watching Thomas and Mary work, reminded me that being with kids, watching kids, learning from and about kids will always win over Chaos.