|At our wonder table, we're wondering what happens to the pussy willows in water, or left dry.|
Tuesday, 19 March 2013
Spring is here? I wonder
This year's weather has led to some interesting conversations in my classroom. Students observe the falling snow, the iced-over puddles and bare trees, and naturally conclude that winter is here to stay. Other students, however, come to school bursting with the news: "Tomorrow is spring!", "Spring starts this week, the radio said so!", or "Spring is tomorrow, it's on the calendar!". This week we have talked about the way the sun has been with us longer in the evenings, the dark early mornings, and the upcoming "Earth Hour" and how best to celebrate it with the class. And so we wonder, when is it really spring?
During March Break I heard what I've long considered the first sign of spring: red-winged blackbirds were singing cheerfully by the lake. I suppose the blackbirds were trusting the longer days, instead of watching the weather. Perhaps the birds were simply tired of waiting, and eager for something new. Today we dressed in our full snow gear, grabbed the shovels, and went out to clear off the alphabet road for riding bikes. Instead, we played in the big, fluffy flakes drifting down around us. Once indoors, the play seemed to be ready for change, too. No longer are students building elaborate arenas to test their favourite beyblades from home, or creating their own spinners out of snap cubes or magnets. The "magnificent marbles" creations, once a hub of noisy, joyous activity, now see only a few visits each day. The return of the cold weather has meant our "puddle problem" inquiry is now all but forgotten. Today, two new students joined us, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I observed as they visited all the centres in the room, peering into bins, watching their peers, and played with different toys. I wonder what interests and ideas they bring with them, and where our next sparks might come from. Until then, I watch, and I wonder.