Then, I noticed two mama turtles quietly, assuredly delivering eggs into a soft nest on the edge of the road. "Instinctively, they knew what to do," I thought as my mind skipped to a Friday afternoon student-teacher interaction.
"Where's everybody?" he asked as he plopped into his seat.
"It's just us today," I said, "and it's your turn to show off your reading." I put the assessment text in front of him. "This book is about instincts," I read, "Instincts are behaviors we are born with......"
"This looks interesting," he noted as he began reading about animals and how their instincts continue even if they do not need them for survival. He slowed as he came to an unfamiliar word. "An-kes-tors, an-kest-ros," he attempted. "What's this word?" he appealed. However, before I could even begin to utter a response, he responded to his own question. "Oh, like your family," he said and then continued reading. My hand continued to "tic" away in a manner that would make Marie Clay proud' yet my sidebar note was most important. "Student is using the meaning of the passage to determine unfamiliar words, such as ancestors."
Before I asked him probing questions to assess his comprehension, he asked me a question that connected our reading earlier in the week (about droughts) with this text. "Is rain instinctive for nature?"
"That's a good question, buddy," I assured him and we deviated from the script to talk about whether non-living things could have instincts.
Before I had finished my walk around the pond and before I had finished my "day-dream" reflection on my Friday afternoon assessment, I had witnessed (7) mama turtles delivering eggs in the soft dirt.
"I guess I really do have something to celebrate," I assured myself as I headed home deep in thought about whether or not the book that was reverberating in my head, "Instincts and Learned Behaviors" would be a best seller!
So this morning I am celebrating instincts, but also learned behaviors including writing, questioning, reflecting, and determining the meaning of unfamiliar words in context.