At Robinson we are blessed with loads of gifted and talented teachers, including one who works with all kinds of gifted and talented Robinson kids, Mrs. Berger. During the beginning weeks of first grade, every first grader goes through a series of lessons (I think there are 5) that helps us identify and highlight creativity and critical thinking of each individual kiddo. The lessons are a variety of things that help students think and share in different ways.
The first time we visited Mrs. Berger she shared a great book with us called The Line.
In the story, you watch as the little girl follows a line, which becomes all kinds of things, like a monster, a bear, a wave. It reminded me of the kind of thinking that we did during our box challenge, where an ordinary item became countless other things just based on kiddos’ imaginations.
In our first invitation, kiddos were given a set of lines–drawing starts–where they had to take the squiggle or shape and create something completely new.
Before kiddos get started, however, Mrs. Berger always invites ME to do this activity. I have to be honest that even after years of being asked to do that, it doesn’t really get easier! I am always a little anxious, especially when I feel pressure to do it “right,” –with an audience! Each time, though, I step back and remember how much modeling the difficulty and working through it helps the learners who are watching. They know that if I can do it, then can, too. In many ways, because I was willing to do the same thing they were being asked to do, they were able to trust me when I told them they could do it. They knew that I understood what it felt like to look at that squiggle or swish and not have an idea right away. 🙂 Together we use our grit and persistence to get through, and Rm. 111 learners did a great job! Check out some of their creations!
My favorite thing about when kiddos do drawing starts is how many of them are certain that they CAN’T do it, but then, when pushed a little (because NOT doing it is not an option) they settle in and come up with some amazing ideas. Each child’s thinking is different, and each idea is “right.” It’s a foundation for much of what we do later on in the year, as we focus on sticking it out, pushing through, using our positive self talk and believing in our abilities. Way to go, Rm. 111 kiddos! Oh, and I know you’re dying to see my drawing start, too.
(Hopefully you see a girl jump roping in that picture! LOL)
Can’t wait for our next visit! There’s sure to be another interesting invitation to be creative and gritty!