. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: August 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

She's Gonna Die?!?

We always start off the year in fourth grade by reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. (If you haven't read it, you really should! Click here to watch the 1973 version of it. You'll never understand the rest of this post without having read it.) 

(Oh, and it's a good book.)

The book is a terrific launching point for introducing the Depth and Complexity icons we will be using with the kids all year. It also conveys a message about selflessness and caring we like to reinforce. 

So we were discussing using the Unanswered Questions icon, looking for things we were left wondering about after reading the book. 

The questions they developed included:

Why did the tree always give so much to the boy?
Why didn't the boy ever say thank you?
Why did the tree let the boy use her like that?
Did the boy love the tree, even when he got older?

And a lively discussion followed each question. It was a great deal of fun!

Then a girl asked, "Why was the tree willing to die for the boy?"

So I asked her to expand on her question, and she said, "She's a tree with no leaves or branches. She gave them to the boy. Now she's going to die. Why would she do that?"

And that's when it hit me. 

That tree is gonna die! 

I've read this book a hundred times. I read it as a kid and have read it to every class I've had for 17 years. 

And I never realized that the tree gave her life for the boy. 

How did I miss that?!?! 

But a nine-year-old saw it. 




Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day 1

Today was my first day with my new class. Well, 1/3 of my new class. I've only met my homeroom so far.

And how did it go?

Wow! Thanks for asking!

It went well.

If "well" includes having a kid tell me I have old, wrinkly hands and having another kid swinging his jacket over his head like helicopter whenever he thought I wasn't looking. (Getting caught once stops most kids, but not him.)

Should be fun!

In reality, they seem like a super sweet bunch and I'm looking forward to working with them.

I'll keep you posted.

Let's hope some funny stuff happens!