Monday, September 24, 2012

Autumn Equinox/Teachable Moments

This past Saturday was the first day of fall, thus the Autumn Equinox.  I tutor at Sylvan on Saturday mornings so I was excited to experience the equinox with my kiddos in grades 1-7. What a diversity in ages/abilities huh!? It sure makes tutoring interesting and fun at the same time. Ok so getting back to the equinox… I don’t know if you have tried this but a raw egg is supposed to balance on a flat surface on this special day. Of course being the teacher that I am I bring in a whole carton of eggs to “balance” with my students. I love nothing more than to take advantage of teachable moments with real-world occurrences. My students literally dropped their jaws when I told them to try and balance an egg on our table. They looked at me as if I had just given the green light to be mischievous. 
The third grader was the first to jump to this challenge (I’m sure thinking the entire time “anything to get away from working on math!”) I was astounded and very proud that immediately he was able to balance an egg upright.  I have never seen him so excited and pleased with himself as I did in that moment. It was his time to shine and explain to everyone else how he accomplished this task.
Next, the seventh grader tried and became frustrated so walked away. After some coaxing from his younger peer he attempted again and succeeded! I was literally beaming inside when both of these boys accomplished balancing their eggs. This led them to try some more but for some reason the eggs would stay standing for a few seconds but then fall over.
My little first grader was the last to attempt this balancing act, but she was never able to get it. She was not quite patient or still enough and honestly on a Saturday morning I don’t blame her! So, we got an egg to balance together. She grinned so big that we all started giggling. It was quite an experience that I will always remember with my more “challenging” students. What this taught me was sometimes we need to take a break from all of the work to just enjoy the little things in life.   
Pretty amazing how balancing an egg can motivate three very different and challenging students!!!


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