Archive for July, 2019

Magic Rocks

Posted on July 24, 2019. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Magic Rocks

“Ohhhhhhhhh! You about to get in trouble!” student one says with an air of anticipation. “Ms. Newton look at what Albert has in his desk” said another in a huff of accusation.  I go over to Albert’s desk. He is 3 feet tall. I am 5 feet 3 ½  inches.  I look down into his eyes.  He looks up into mine. He looks worried. I look inquisitive.  I ask, “What’s in there?”  Albert, begins to silently, grab handfuls of rocks and put them on the table. This is accompanied by a symphony of “OOOO’s” as he does it.  See the stage had been set for just such an occurrence.  Rocks had been forbidden to be touched by the school administration.  In their abundant wisdom, they had decided to build a fence in the middle of the school year around the perimeter of the school, which of course left hundreds of little rocks and pebbles everywhere, ones that are just the right size for little hands like Albert’s – an inquisitive 1st grader.  Then, they made it a cardinal sin to touch them.”

 By now the class had gathered around Albert’s desk and they were staring at him, looking at the rocks and turning to me to met out just rewards.  I looked down into Albert’s chubby little face, scrubby knees and careful hands, and I asked one fateful question: What if these were magic rocks?  Well, the kids looked astonished at the question.  They looked at Albert, they raised an eyebrow at me and then they stared at those rocks, wondering, what if? I continued on, “What if they were magic? What then?” Well, no one had anticipated this question and it threw them and the whole expected end into a tailwind.  I know, Albert broke the rules.  But I figured, he had taken care to collect all those rocks, he had lots of rocks, big and little.  He had also taken the care to hide them carefully in his desk. So it seemed to me that they must be special.  Who was I to judge?  Of course, I reprimanded Albert – I told him that he shouldn’t be doing that, breaking rules and picking up rocks and hiding them.  But, since he had, we might as well think about the question.  So we wrote essays about those “magic rocks.”  We made a “magic rock” museum.  We talked about geologists and rockhounders (those who collect rocks like Albert had). We compared them and talked about their similarities and differences.  We most certainly counted how many he had collected.  We even read “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” for inspiration of course. We learned so much using the rocks as our launchpad.  Why I would have never thought of letting them go to waste!


Always find the magic in the day to day of children’s lives.

Dr. Nicki

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