Saturday, June 6, 2015

#celebratelu15 Instincts and Learned Behaviors

As I walked along the edge of the pond in the gentle rain, I was thinking I had nothing to celebrate. "Some weeks are like that," I said as if to assure myself this was OK

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. 


Jennifer Laffin said...

Taking time to talk with our students sure does reveal the wonder of their thinking, doesn't it? I love how you were able to find celebration in the every day. Sometimes our celebrations whisper instead of roar. Good thing you were listening!

Andrea said...

I love how you linked the story of the turtles with the story of this little boy. It is such a celebration that he had such deep thinking about the passage. So great that this celebration was there waiting to emerge. Have a great week!

Kimberley said...

I adore watching animals and insects. I, too, see the link to the students in my class. It reminds me to observe them more and let them be instead of rushing in to make it my thing.

Ramona said...

I love the pic of the turtle, but having this peek into your time with a student was wonderful!

Michelle Haseltine said...

It's weeks like this that I force myself to write a celebration post. Your reflection on your week and the connections you made in this post inspire me. I have to say whenever I read your blog I feel like I get a piece of wisdom from you. It feels peaceful in this space. Thank you for showing up! Thank you for celebrating! Thank you for writing!

Terje said...

It's amazing how a small pause, something you notice, reminds you of another moment, and a celebration is born.

Julieanne said...

What a beautiful post. A perfect example of the links between, noticing, thinking, reading, writing and celebrating!

Tara Smith said...

What Jennifer said - and bravo for listening!