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Re: Kids are great and so are the teachers who let them experience the reigns.

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From: Sharon Henneborn (heneborn_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Mar 06 2005 - 15:04:57 PST


Patti,

I really enjoyed reading this. It reminds me of a time I had a similar
problem on a much smaller scale. It really doesn't matter if it is
large or small scale we all dread having to face a class full of
disgruntled kids who are expecting something and it isn't available.

The situation I remember was where I shared a room with someone else
and my 45 2nd graders were ready for the second day of of a sculpture
project. The glue they had been using was nowhere to be found. I had
to pull out another kind of glue and they were just sure it was not as
good as what they had used. They wanted their other glue!

Before mutiny I announced that there were 2 glues that I wanted to
order for next year and we had tried the first glue on the first day
and I would like them to try the 2nd glue on today's work and give me a
comparison of the properties of the 2 glues.

It worked for the reasons that Patti described. The little tadpoles
were very serious about the properties of the 2 glues! We all possibly
had a better learning experience because of the misplaced glue.

Good lemonade making Patti!

Sharon ~ NJ

On Sunday, March 6, 2005, at 01:54 PM, Patricia Knott wrote:
<snip>
> Kids came back to school this past Wed. My photo kids were very
> anxiously awaiting the new photo facilities.
<snip> But it's not done yet and we can't use the darkroom yet.

> I spent a whole snow day coming up with things the kids could do
> without the darkroom. But then decided to let them make their own
> list. On the first day back I explained the situation and presented
> the problem -- What can we do without the darkroom?

> They were fabulous and got right to the brainstorming. They came up
> with lots of ideas, including written stuff that I would never think
> would come from a kid. One kid made a film drying cabinet out of the
> coat closet. Some girls came up with more efficient use of the sink
> space. And that was icing on the cake for all the "out of darkroom"
> project ideas they had.
  None were sitting around saying we have nothing to do.

> Given a choice, kids can invent the choices.
They took on the problem as much as I. They didn't whine and complain,
they found solutions.
They truly enjoyed the problem to solve. They fueled all my ideas and
had many of their own.

> Kids want to "own." They want to know they have solutions. I'm very
> glad I turned this lesson over to them. It became something they had
> to do, not something I had to provide. The kids were very gracious
> and they tackled the task... and they were more wise than I.

> Sometimes I want to tell teachers to trust the kids more. Deviate from
> your plan
> I hope I gave a lesson in "what do you do when you can't do what you
> hoped to do" It was all positive and even the kids that are
> "trouble" pitched in.
<snip> Patty

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