Noisy Kids and Little Stars

I looked around at the raucous noise in the second grade classroom and smiled.

Normally, that would not be the case.  Quiet was king, even in a class with kids this little.  Quiet meant control, quiet meant things were being accomplished by my small humans.  Quiet meant they were doing what I asked them to do, not what they naturally wanted to do.  There were any number of ways to achieve quiet control in the classroom, and I was slowly learning how to achieve it.

But not today.

Today, I was asking for the students to make noise.  I was teaching my first observed lesson of my student teaching semester.  A professor from the university came out three times during my time with these students and watched me teach.  These three observations, combined with the report from my cooperating teacher Kathy, would comprise my grade.

I had chosen to teach a science lesson about sound.   In order to do this, I had students bring in lots of items that would normally be thrown out or recycled at home:   old toilet paper tubes, milk jugs, tubs of margarine, plastic soda bottles.  I brought in things like rubber bands, rice, beans, and marbles.  Together with the students, we talked about how sound was created, and then I asked them how sound could be created with the disparate items in front of us today.  From there, we talked about how sound came from air or impact.  I brought in my own flute, a drum of Zach’s and borrowed a maraca from the music teacher down the hall to demonstrate the concept with real instruments.  Using the real instruments as an example, and keeping the ideas of air and impact in mind, the students then were tasked with creating their own musical instrument out of the items we had assembled.

My cooperating teacher loved the lesson and was enthusiastic about turning over the classroom for it.  Other second grade teachers came to peek in our classroom and asked me for the lesson plans so they could replicate the lesson with their students.  I was over the moon that my lesson was a success and that it was being noticed by others in the building.  The grade from my professor was important, but at this stage in the game, more important was the positive reputation I was earning amongst the teachers at the school; teachers who I hoped would want me on their staff next year should a position open up.

“Teacher, can we learn science like this all of the time?  This isn’t like learning, this is fun!” little Donna asked me as she gleefully shook her Land O Lakes tub full of rice and beans.

“Donna, that’s the great news,” I told her.  “You can.  Science is all around you, every day.”

I’d made learning fun.  I’d hit the sweet spot.

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