December 5, 2011

Simple Pleasures

As I approach the end of Chapter 3 with my sixth graders, I admittedly failed to plan an exciting way to review the chapter before their test tomorrow.  All I had, as they walked through the door, was a study guide and some awesome students.  I decided to give them the class period to work on the study guide in groups of three or four and give them the opportunity to ask me questions.  Lame, I know.  Please know that I usually have some sort of review game the day before the test, e.g. whiteboard quiz game, Jeopardy, etc.

As my students were working on the study guide, one of them asked me if they could borrow a dry-erase marker.  I reluctantly allowed him to use the marker.  As I moved on to answer another student's question, I heard the group of boys getting rowdy and laughing.  Naturally, my reaction was to direct them to "get busy" and "stay focused."  Again, lame.  I'm aware.  As I looked up, the students were getting rowdy about the study guide - hello!  The boys had made a game of the review questions all on their own.  They were using my nearly empty dry erase board in the back of the room to solve the problems and see who could answer them first.  I wanted to cry I was so happy.  As the rest of the students saw what was happening, they all wanted to join.  I, not so reluctantly this time, allowed the students to line up in the back of the room to solve the problems in a race.
My favorite part of their newly discovered review game: the conversations they were having about MATH...without me!  My students were teaching each other how to do the problems and helping each other along the way.  I wasn't doing anything, literally. Amazing, right?
You probably have to be an educator to understand why I was so thrilled.  In all seriousness, I don't know the last time I was so proud of my kiddies.  Just another reminder of why I love what I do :) #EduWin

It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.  - Robert Green Ingersoll

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