My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

February 24, 2015

Magical Moments

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Two Writing Teachers
It was tough to get up on Monday.  I overindulged on the Oscars (Lady Gaga + Sound of Music = surprisingly awesome!) so I already was tired.  I really wanted to stay under the covers, but I brewed a strong cup of coffee and ventured to school.

Our day was already scattered, so I tried to keep an even head.  Specials moved to the morning, lunch time delayed by a lunch delivery dilemma.  Indoor recess, again.  I kept moving the students between the carpet and desks as we completed a writing lesson, talked science, worked through math rotations, guided reading and Daily 5 (with one major student meltdown).

Then it happened.  I introduced the essential question of the week from our reading series ... "how do animal's bodies help them?"

You would have thought that I had a classroom of zoologists.
I'm not kidding.

These first graders were tossing words like camouflage, acacia leaves, muscular legs.
Some were discussing at their tables the difference between cheetahs, jaguars and leopards.
They talked about snakes, birds, elephants, and giraffes.
I couldn't keep up with all the conversations.
I knew I had a few animal experts, but this was amazing.

At it all happened 20 minutes before we had to get ready to go home.

What an inspiring way to finish our day.  I can only guess which book basket will be empty by first bell tomorrow morning!


  1. What a celebration of conversation, engagement, and interest! This is the way to do it!

  2. All it takes is the right question and voila they are off and running. Hope the rest of your week is as exciting.

  3. Having taught first grade for decades, I know that when animals are mentioned there is no shortage of experts at that age level. I used animal's to kick off non-fiction and fiction reading and writing, art, music...well, everything! Great way to get them excited for the next day. It WILL be interesting to see how well that book basket holds up tomorrow!

  4. Animal books were a favorite nonfiction in my classrooms. I bet a part of you wished you would have had just a little more time to extend that great conversation. I am sure they will be ready tomorrow!

  5. This is awesome! The First Grade teacher in me is smiling for you! Hopefully you have a chance to rest after your full day today. I didn't get to confer in writing today because of a student's emotional needs, and we ended the day doing the sprinkler dance move. Feet up with tea right now... Thanks for sharing!

  6. I love talking animals with primary kids. It's amazing how they remember and connect. When they use words like camouflage and adaptation, I'm wow'd. I smile from ear to ear. I've developed a little bird obsession lately and I find I can bring that obsession into the classroom in the form of beanie babies, nonfiction books, picture books, and drawing lessons. They adore it. We work on Main Idea and supporting details as we learn more.

  7. Interesting - I didn't realize 6 year olds would be such experts and know such difficult vocabulary! Sounds like this unit will be an interesting one for you and them!

  8. They are full of wonder! I live in Firstie land, too. So great you were able to observe this great learning after a day that had some distractions. Nice of you to share! :)