Last week I had the most amazing experience! I was in a first grade classroom where the teacher and I have been navigating together an inquiry project. Thus far the students have been doing an amazing job looking through books, writing down questions and facts - quite impressive.
Well...this particular day we began to sort and organize post it notes for us to dig deeper in our research. The teacher and I, modeled this with our own category and then shared how this is exactly what they'll be doing today. Most groups totally got it and began putting circles around groups of post-it notes, labeling the categories and deciding who would research that area. There were a few groups that needed more support and so through questioning and prompting we were encouraging students to notice similarities and differences. There came a point, 50 minutes into independent work time, when I was so engrossed with a group, I began to wonder, "What is going on behind me?" I was worried my supernatural teacher, all-knowing, extra heightened silly sense had failed me. I was afraid to turn around to see what I might find...to my amazement, an hour into this work, the students were totally engaged and deep in discussions, books, pencils and notes! I feel this could be a true testimony to how we can honor students' passions and desires and how they will rise to meet the occasion!