Thursday, August 21, 2008

An Infestation of Ladybugs!


















Today I made my first mistake as a teacher.

Okay, it probably wasn't my first mistake, but it is noteworthy.

I was teaching the other batch of first graders, so I was doing the same lesson on favorite colors (see first day post). Here was the mistake: The students had already selected the crayon that was their favorite color, but I didn't pay attention to the colors they had selected. Instead, I randomly chose red as my example. I explained that ladybugs are red, but to draw a ladybug, you would also need to use the black crayon. Then I drew a simple picture of a ladybug on the whiteboard.

Last week, I deliberately chose a color that NO STUDENTS had picked. This week, I didn't notice that two of the nine children had picked red.

Guess how many ladybug pictures I ended up with?

Not two. Twice that many. FOUR.

Yes, even though only two children choose red as their favorite color, two others managed to work a ladybug into their picture. Beach scenes with ladybugs, flowers with ladybugs. It almost didn't matter what you drew, you could add a ladybug to your picture and make it better!

It is quite flattering to have so many students follow your example, but five ladybugs doesn't contribute to the goal of developing independent thinkers. Maybe we can work on that next week...

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