I play many roles in my life. I’m a teacher, a daughter, a sister, a dog owner, a colleague, and a friend. Today though, was the first time that I’ve ever been a “slug sitter.” 🙂
This morning, one of my Grade 1 students brought a slug to school — along with some worms, a pile of dirt, and some leaves. I have to admit, I was beyond excited! 🙂
We’ve been exploring nature a lot since school began, and even looking at the overlap between nature and the seasons. This slug was sure to inspire lots of great thinking, questioning, and wondering, and I couldn’t wait! Before the bell even rang, this student was telling the class all about his slug. I even learned about some similarities and differences between a slug and a snail. I also got to hear some great thinking and some excited talk, which soon inspired some wonderful writing.
This slug though wasn’t just a little something to look at and discuss first thing in the morning. He even joined us for all of our carpet times, stood still for O’ Canada, watched all of our work in action, and ate lunch with us. When the students went off to library, I was hired to slug sit. Mr. Slug was certainly an important part of our classroom today!
And while this kind of makes me chuckle now (I never thought that I would be thanked for slug sitting 🙂 ), I can’t help but think about the bigger learning that comes from an experience like this. The slug was exciting. The slug was inspiring. The slug was interesting. The slug was an important part of our classroom and our learning today. How, as teachers, can we always make learning as enjoyable and meaningful as it was today with the help of a little slug? What do you do? I’d love to hear about some of your experiences!
P.S. I found some great online images and some easy-to-read information about slugs that I’m going to use as a provocation tomorrow morning. Let the learning continue!
My class is deeply into snails right now and we’ve been observing the little molluscs in our classroom and reading about them. It’s been really engaging for students and empowering for those who have shared their interest with their classmates.
I think making the day exciting and engaging is about embracing the teachable moments, as strange as they may seem. A child bringing a slug or snail into the classroom can open so many doors for learning.
Thanks for the comment, Shauna! You make great points here about excitement and engagement. Embracing those teachable moments are so important. What other teachable moments have you experienced?
I’m intrigued about your students’ interest in snails. My students starting talking about them a lot after our slug visit yesterday. I wonder if any of your students might like to Skype or FaceTime with a small group of mine to discuss snails. Maybe they can teach each other about them and uncover some new questions/wonderings too. What do you think? Would tomorrow morning work?
Always love to read your writing. The thing that stick out most for me was how you listen to & value what is important to your students.
When we had our classroom snails last year, I pulled books on snails from our school library. I was completely surprised that one of the books was about snails & slugs as pets and how to care for them.
Is the slug staying with your class?
Thanks for the comment, Helen! It’s actually watching and listening to teachers like you that helped me see the tremendous value in “really listening” to my students.
I love your idea of pulling library books on snails (and seeing if there are any on snails and slugs). I know that the students got interested in both after yesterday’s visit. The slug isn’t staying with the class, but I’m sure that he’ll have many more visits. He may even bring some friends along. 🙂