As I was playing a math game with a few students this morning.
I found myself repeating, “pardon…what was that?… could you say that one more time?”
Apparently there was a monster in the building and a series of police men were saving the day! I am not sure why I wasn’t informed of this crisis earlier.
I quietly asked the enthusiastic police officers to use their inside voices because some of our friends were having a hard time communicating with one another.
The voices were lowered for the first lap of the monster chase. They sirens slowly returned during the second lap of the classroom. By the third lap? There were monster growls, sirens blaring and many commands being shouted.
Feeling slightly frustrated, having to interrupt the learning with my group again in such a short period of time, I got up from my chair. As I gathered the police officers, I could see the disappointment setting in.
“It looks like you are having a lot of fun pretending to be police officers.” I said to the gathered groups. (Secretly buying time as my inner dialogue began to chatter away finding the right way to approach these imaginative children.)
“Ya! I am the police officers and he is the monster, we have to catch him and he can go invisible and…” they continued to tell me every minor detail of role play. I listened while my inner teacher dialogue started debating on how to approach this situation, I think the conversation I had with myself went like something like this:
‘They are really enjoying acting out this story and
if there truly was a monster, how could they possibly
keep their voices down?’
‘But it isn’t fair to the children who were trying to
play other things.’
‘I really don’t like stopping role play.’
By the time they had finished sharing their story I had my plan of attack worked out.
“This sounds like really interesting story.” I responded. “I bet the afternoon class would love to hear the story you are telling with your friends. Do you think you could write a book about the game you are playing so I can share it with my afternoon friends?”
I held my breath, thinking of how I might reply to the “no, thanks!” that never came.
“That’s a good idea!” said one little boy.
“Ya!” exclaimed another.
“I’ll get the books!” shouted the little monster.
The police officers and the monsters grabbed the materials they needed and found a cozy spot on the carpet to write their books.
Well I returned to my math game, but I couldn’t help but continue to glance over at my little authors eagerly filling the pages with their story.