Day 8 – I learned long ago about author and poet, Mary Oliver and how her poetry resonates with me. This poem, titled
Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End? is simply beautiful.
Don’t call this world adorable, or useful, that’s not it.
It’s frisky, and a theater for more than fair winds.
The eyelash of lightning is neither good nor evil.
The struck tree burns like a pillar of gold.
But the blue rain sinks, straight to the white
feet of the trees
whose mouths open.
Doesn’t the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance?
Haven’t the flowers moved, slowly, across Asia, then Europe,
until at last, now, they shine
in your own yard?
Don’t call this world an explanation, or even an education.
When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking outward, to the mountains so solidly there
in a white-capped ring, or was he looking to the center of everything:
the seed, the egg, the idea that was also there, beautiful as a thumb curved and touching the finger, tenderly,
as he whirled,
oh jug of breath,
in the garden of dust?
Day 9 –I learned that I can quiet a class of 28 students within seconds because they know that in order to play a game, they have to be silent. The guessing game, is often played during those few moments when the librarian is out of the room. “Ok, I’m thinking of a letter of the alphabet …” I have one student next to me who gets to hear the answer. Then with each guess, I lean down and ask the student, “Was that the correct answer?” The student is my “proof” that I am not changing the answer. It’s quick, fun and a change of pace for these first graders. And, it’s a blast for me!
Day 10 – I learned that our elementary students need to know how to use the keyboard in order to succeed. I learned the keyboard in the 11th grade of school.
School based testing is completed on computers. No more fill in the bubbles using 2# pencils. Instead, they read the computer test online and answer online. If it’s a math test, they are allowed to use paper to solve problem, however, they are required to enter their work on the computer. Any stories they write or sentences they complete – all entered on the computer.
So, let’s imagine a third grader taking required school based tests. The stress involved with reading and understanding the passage is only one of the issues. When asked to write what they thought of the story or characters, now they have to know how to use a keyboard in an efficient manner. These kids are 9 years old. They are struggling with test taking and now, they need to know the basics of keyboarding. Heck, we’re not asking too much, right? Geesh!
Please understand that I think it’s great for my grandson to learn keyboarding as a first grader – I think it’s beyond great – however, for those that struggle with the keyboard should not have to deal with it during testing as well. Like many things in the school system, this isn’t about the student. It’s a money saving issue. Alas…
Day 11 –
Found some great youtube videos – Sometimes, it’s just good to laugh. Check out the video on Donnalou Stevens website for a giggle or two!