Let me give a little background. I showed this video as a start to our conversation about ourselves. The video is a book trailer for Daniel Pink’s newest book Drive. The key thing for our discussion is that it asks the question: What is your sentence. This is what we used to begin.
After some discussion I gave some possible examples for myself and these directions:
On Friday we will each share a little something about ourselves. You should begin by coming up with your sentence. Remember the video we watched? What is your sentence right now? It doesn’t have to be your sentence for life, just your life at the moment.
On Friday each person will have his or her sentence on a sentence strip (I will give you a strip) and a small display on his or her desk. This display could be pictures, small items, a poster, books, whatever you want that helps us understand your sentence. I will share my sentence and make a small display as well.
Each of you will get a few minutes to share this special interest or with our class.
I can’t wait to hear about each of you!
Then, I waited.
To say that I was unprepared for the response does not even begin to describe the day. This was the last thing we did on a Friday, the second week of school. Not prime time. It was the only time I had what I thought was a long enough block of time.
Here are our sentences:
- She likes to make all kinds of things.
- She loves Paris, France.
- You can call me crazy, because it’s true.
- I have many bright ideas for our armed forces.
- I like baseball, basketball and long multiplication.
- Lax is my thing and I like to sing.
- I love to swim.
- She loves to be creative and likes to be herself.
- I live and breathe tennis.
- I enjoy doing puzzles with my brother.
- I want to be in the Olympics, a lot.
- (Name) is about soccer, math, and a laugh.
- I like to compete in math and sports.
- I like doing fun stuff.
- (Name) likes to play soccer, cook and have fun. (a boy)
- I like to make cool projects.
- All day I think about soccer.
The sentences were interesting. They brought little displays to share.
But what was the most amazing was how much attention, interest, and care they showed. Each person shared his or her interest and collection of items. Students asked questions of everyone. They were respectful of all interests and genuinely interested in what others were doing. There was no wiggling, giggling (except at jokes), eye rolling, sighing, or wandering. For a few students I had to cut off questions so that we wouldn’t run out of time. All told, it was easily 75+ minutes of just sharing. That doesn’t include the time we spent walking around looking at things up close before beginning.
I was blown away.
Here are a few of the things I heard:
- Q: Do you feel you have pushed the boundary of crazy? (totally serious question)
- A: I haven’t yet, but I feel I may soon. (also serious)
- Q: What is the hardest thing you ever made (cooking)?
- A: That would have to be when I tried putting chocolate then cheese over bacon.
- Q: You must have a lot of patience (to student talking about 1,000 piece puzzles)
- A: My mom can’t take it. If she doesn’t get a piece in like a minute, she quits. My brother and I, we have a lot of strategies.
- I love to laugh, I do it a lot. They say I’ll live longer, so that’s a good thing.
- I know that’s really hard because I tried it and kept falling into
walls and stuff.
- I personally love Snoopy, but that’s just me.
- I got into it when I was really little and I’ve liked it ever since.
I cannot adequately express what a great afternoon this was. Not only was it a fantastic event, I think it will set a tone for the rest of the year.