Friday, August 21, 2009

My First Sunflower : 2

The first full week of school is almost over. Today, I realized that I hadn't even had time to go outside to check on the sunflower. This morning, it is bent over from the rain, but I think it will re-orient itself as it dries out. Isn't she beautiful? I love the combinations of red, orange, and yellow.

Just as beautiful as this sunflower have been moments of all the teaching and learning going on around here. My daughter completed her first drawing homework for her visual arts class. She had to draw a portrait of me-- no small task. After getting over the initial hump of starting which involved its share of crying and self-doubt, she found her groove, smiled, and laughed. I think she even felt energized.

I felt energized one day this week after teaching a wordless picture book, Flotsam by David Wiesner, to 4 back-to back classes of third through sixth grade students. We talked about the interaction of words and images both in the text and in our minds. The children solved the mystery of the Melville Underwater Camera through closely looking at the marvelous illustrations in the story.

The image of one particular fifth grade student remains with me this morning. He arrived in literature connection class grumpy and withdrawn. By the end of the discussion, however, he was engaged, asking questions, and positing answers. A light-bulb turned on in his mind, and his face lit up like my sunflower.

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