Look at me!

Yesterday an awesome group called Cirque Amongus came to our school and our students participated in circus events throughout the entire morning.  They tried a tight rope, a trapeze, mini-bikes and unicycles, juggling, balancing acts, acrobatics and more!  It was a great day.  We had parents and teachers all day working together at school for this event and it could not have been more fun!

After lunch each student had to decide which even they would perform in the “big top” in front of the entire school.  After they decided this, we teachers and parents got to dress them in “wardrobe” circus outfits and then they each had their make-up done. It was so well organized and so well run.  I could not believe we got it all done in a day.

The group Cirque Amongus assigned all the adults to different tasks; you were either a group leader or you taught a skill for the whole morning.  Everything was randomized and selected through their computer system.  I was a group leader.  I was in charge of nine students.  It was a group of three 4th graders, three 6th graders and three 8th graders.  When I received the names of my group that morning I was a total pessimist.  I could not have imagined a more complex, difficult and strange group of students to be put together.  I thought their personalities would clash all day!  It was fabulous.

Each one of the kids in my group tried every activity, supported each other and had fun.  Even the two 8th grade boys (whom I thought would be awful) had some serious hidden circus talent.  Toward the end of the morning these two boys were a bit of a challenge, but it turned out to be a great time!

The one thing I thought about throughout the day and after the day was over was how important it is to listen and watch when you hear a kid say, “LOOK AT ME!” or  “Watch this!”  or “Did you see me?”  That is what I heard throughout the day from all ages of kids.  That little moment to shine and that small “hey check me out!” moment is so ultra important to them.  It meant so much to youngest and oldest in the school just to have that special attention and moment when they are on stage proudly accomplishing something they had no idea they could do.  Even those “too cool” 8th grade boys made sure I was watching from time to time very nonchalantly of course.  It was a wonderful day.

I think these little “watch this!” moments are even important as we get older, right?  It is always nice to know that someone is interested and proud of your accomplishments, right?

They are so engaged so I will be too…

I sit here to write this post as my 4th graders play games online in Spanish that I have linked to our class website. They are so engaged so I thought I would take this time to write about them and be engaged myself.  It seems to be a good time to reflect.  They are so funny and we so excited today to play.  We never really get to sit and play games like this because I prefer to be talking and engaging them with Spanish that is usually coming out of my mouth or theirs, or reading, writing, singing…we are always doing something that makes a lot of noise. Today we have a small class because there are some students making up some tests.  I was going to teach a new concept today, but with students missing, I can do it next time.

Today they are quiet, so quiet.  I am not accustomed to this quiet.  They are on their own to play any game in Spanish that they want to play.  Here is the one they are obsessed with: BURRITO BUILDER

It is strange for me to sit here and not talk with them.  I actually do not like it.  It is weird for me.  I feel like I am doing something wrong by letting them just sit and learn on their own from games I linked for me.  Isn’t that weird?  I am usually engaging with them for 30 minutes straight and now we have been quietly engaged in a whole new way for 30 minutes straight.  It is a good day, but I still feel guilty as if I am not doing my job.  Maybe some day this quiet will feel right…I can see they enjoyed it.  When I stopped class they all said, NO! and did not want to leave…they hardly listened to me when I spoke and said it was time to go.  I had to tell them a few times they had to leave because 5th grade was about to come.  My darling digital natives!  Some of them still had their computers open and working on their games as they left through the door.

Here they are…no one said a word