On the blog post titled Motivating Students, I mentioned a group of second graders that came into my reading room on the first day of school. All of these boys were known to be difficult.
As they shoved their way into class I noticed there were seven of them so I immediately called them “The Magnificent Seven,” determined that they would live up to that name.
I couldn’t help but write down this exchange at the end of one class.
STUDENTS: (7 boys sitting around table in a 2nd grade reading classroom, each has a book)
ETHAN: I saw orcas on TV this morning.
LOCKLEAR: You did?
ETHAN: They were trapped under ice. Iccccce. People helped make a hole so they could breathe.
LOCKLEAR: I’m so glad people helped them. And that’s a good word: ice. (on white board adds “ice” to chart of hard and soft “c.”) Now we can put “ice” in the soft c category. (pause) It’s about time to clean up. Gentlemen, you work hard and have great manners. Thank you so much. You may now walk quietly back to your own classrooms. (all boys exit except ETHAN who wants to help clean up)
ETHAN: (pushing in chairs)
LOCKLEAR: Ethan, you really know a lot about animals. I bet when you grow up, you will study animals… or work with animals.
LOCKLEAR: (gathering papers, looking over at him) No?
ETHAN: (finishing with chairs) I’m going to be an elf.
LOCKLEAR: A what?
ETHAN: (with conviction) An elf.
LOCKLEAR: Don’t elves make things? Do you like to build and create things?
ETHAN: Not that kind of elf. The kind that checks to see if children are naughty or nice. The kind that goes with Santa.
LOCKLEAR: (smiles) Ah, you’re going to be an elf.
ETHAN: (nods, quite pleased with himself and exits)
What happened with that group of students?
They really did become a great team of seven. They not only worked hard, but gained confidence in their abilities. Fun class.