Celebrate: Untangling the Knots

Learning takes your whole self, and that whole self is often distracted.

Students walk into the classroom with ah has and ideas, missing objects and misunderstandings. All of that is whirring around in their brains. Some can patiently wait their turn. Some can struggle on their own and figure it out. Others come in on fire. They have to tell you, now. Needs, confessions, explanations are burning a whole in their hearts.

“Can I talk to you privately? ”
“Can I tell you something?”
“Is this ok?”
“Will you read this?”
“Can I show you?”

This week was about working out troubles that distract and celebrating access points to learning.

Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart. My students are enthralled by this read aloud. We finished a chapter, and they beg for the next. I leave them hanging with a promise of tomorrow. They can’t believe I won’t read on. Chants of read more fill the room every day.

Saving Dory” in Scholastic News. We skimmed it together. We numbered the paragraphs. They look for facts and opinions. Mark agreement or disagreement. The room hummed with engagement. Animals are access points.

Writing on Google docs and Kidblog. Electronic writing is something students find accessible and meaningful. Revision is doable, almost pleasing in Google docs. What was torture, with paper and pen, is desirable.  Blogging makes the written word a means to an immediate peer response. Writing this way doesn’t feel like writing. It is a part of their world.

This week, alongside the drama that is kid life, I heard:

“This is interesting.”
“Can we have more time to read?”
“Can I keep this?”
“Can I borrow that book?”
“Can I stay to finish this?”
“Can I work on this at home?”
“I like my story.”

The weekend is upon us.

On Monday, students will enter the classroom bursting with their worries, wonderings, and accomplishments. Next week, we will continue to untangle knots and create learning amid the stress and strain of being ten.

celebrate link up

Read more celebrations on Ruth Ayers’ Discover Play Build.



8 thoughts on “Celebrate: Untangling the Knots

  1. I nodded through all of this. I heard similar things all week as well – loved how you put this “Needs, confessions, explanations . . . ” And those wonderful questions, “When can we read?” “Can we do that again?” “Will you read the next chapter?” Ironically also I am thinking of reading Some Kind of Courage as our next read aloud. Such a book. We are reading All Rise for the Honorable Perry T Cook. Enjoy your weekend!

  2. I was tickled to hear those remarks for “immediacy”, things that can’t wait, but private, maybe in the hall! I’ve been there too, and love that taking charge of themselves (mostly), but it also shows how much they love you Julieanne, and want you to “know” things.

  3. Ahh…the life a ten year old. You describe it so well and it looks very similar to the lives of my eleven and twelve year olds. This is learning in action!

  4. I love this. It’s what I miss so much about having your own classroom where you become a family. You write so well about it.

  5. Your final sentence pulls this celebration so beautifully together. You have been a careful listener and observer in order to support the learners who spend time with you.

  6. I love the title of your post…it tells the story our lives as teachers of young learners. Some Kind of Courage is such a powerful book. I am sad that I don’t have a class to read it to this year, but know a few teachers who might want to read it to their students. 🙂 Have a wonderful week untangling those knots. Your students are lucky to have you there to support them.

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