I have unshakable faith in children. They always show me the way. ♥

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cookie's Week

Sometimes I'm amazed by the depth of thought that six year olds have. As a teacher, I'm often pressed for time, ruled by the clock, determined to get from one subject to the next. I think through things a lot, but sometimes... well, sometimes I don't truly see the depth of something until the children point it out to me.

Today was one of those days. We're still in the early days of the school year, working on finding the balance between learning new routines, having fun, and doing work. We were reading the book Cookie's Week at the end of our literacy time. I expected kids to focus on some of the "quick and easy words" and laugh at the pictures. It's a great book for talking about some of the little words in reading and writing, and it also follows the days of the week. To be honest, it's a wonderful book, but I'd never looked for any depth within it.

Until today.

This book has an adorable cat, Cookie, that keeps getting into things and making a mess. The book ends with the line: "Tomorrow is Sunday. Maybe Cookie will rest." but we see a fly up in the top right hand corner and Cookie with one eye open looking at it. The kids right away noticed this and said that Cookie was going to make another mess.

Then Lindy raised her hand. She said, "I think the fly got Cookie in trouble all those times."

There was a pause, and then one of the other kids said, "Yeah, maybe the fly came out of the trashcan and Cookie followed it and that's why he got into trouble all the time!"

Other kids had some other similar thoughts, building upon this and they were quite animated in describing things.

I sat and watched my students debate this, thinking: "Holy Crap. Yes!"

Who knows whether the author intended for the fly to have been the catalyst for Cookie to get into messes, or whether it was just the typical kittenness that was causing her havoc. All I know is that I've never had children have such an engaging discussion about this book. It had never occured to me that it would be something worth discussing. But the value of this? Oh, man, this book is going to be gold to these first graders now. They're going to take it and read and examine it for days, I can just feel it.

It's sort of amazing how discussions end up popping up where I least expect it.

Thank goodness I listened to them today. I love when they teach me something early on a Monday morning. ♥