Here’s a reshare of a memorable story. It happened during a time I substituted in a 3rd or 4th grade class, early in the school year.
I was asked to substitute in one class, for a week, during which I followed the teacher’s lessons. Often, I found we would complete the lessons early, so on one day, I asked the kids what they knew about prepositions and prepositional phrases. I only saw blank stares returning. So, I asked them if they would like to learn. All of them eagerly agreed.
This is what happened. I had them draw with me, a cloud with planes around, but also a tree with birds around. Then I wrote this: The plane flew ______ the cloud. Single words in the blank were prepositions. After about 10 minutes or so of this, I had them write their own prepositional phrases, which they shared. Later, on another day, they pretty much all remembered what prepositions were and would write phrases. Later, on the same day, with time, we did a little art. They realized, when work was done, we could think “outside the box”, something I’ve written about at length.
Well, at the end of this day, when I explained we were getting ready to leave, one girl asked if we were going to P.E. I explained that I was going home and the kids were either walking, riding the bus, or being picked up by parents. She was surprised that the end of the day had come. I said, well, when you’re having fun, time flies. She thought about that for a second, then with an “ah haaa” expression, said, that’s true (with glee).
You see, when learning (some is just grind out the work) is engaging and forward thinking, with energy and many moments of understanding, time flies. It’s like being in the moment and the moment is forever. Time seems to disappear. Kids aren’t looking at the clock. Teachers aren’t waiting for the end of the day. Class management seems to take care of itself. Looking forward to the next day becomes a joy.