Friday, January 16, 2009

Accidental Perfection

I've often thought that the problem with loving your job is that you always feel that there's more you could be doing. Surfeit of ideas, deficit of time. I generally end up teaching by the seat of my pants.

Thursday, in 4th and 5th grade, we had an accidentally fantastic lesson. We're learning about food, and some other items, and stores. I had some posters for stores that I made when I was at the High School, so I pulled those out. We reviewed the vocab flash cards, gave each table a store, decided what store they would be sold in, and then talked for a minute about the peso versus the dollar.

Then we had some more time, so...

I gave each table a whiteboard and a marker and had them set prices and make a price list.

Then I remembered that I had some pesos back in my office, so I gave them a minute to write and went back to fetch them.

We counted out the money together, and then I went shopping. The kids got really excited, and started trying to sell me their items. I passed by the tables if they weren't speaking Spanish, telling them: "Lo siento, no hablo ingles" In seconds, the ENTIRE CLASS was engaged, in the language, trying to get me to buy whatever they had. It was loud and crazy and exactly what you would experience in a Mexican market.

Then at the end we had a discussion about culture, and the markets in Mexico, and the kids who have been to Mexico got to tell their classmates about it, and they all got to see the coins, and they're begging to go shopping themselves.

I wish I could plan a lesson like that, instead of just stumbling into it.

But I'll take it.


Trinket said...

What fun! I think that often in education, no matter how much you plan, the best things happen when you least expect them. Field trip to Mexico? :D

Shauna said...

I love it when that happens! (And I'm thankful that it does pretty often.)

Linda McKenzie said...

I love when that happens too! It sounds like the kids loved it.

The Tidwells said...

My best lessons are mostly accidents like that. Now, if I could only remember to record them afterward, I might be on to something!