name that rock

We're studying rocks in science right now. I'll be honest: it's my least favorite topic. But I try really hard not to let my 22 first graders know that.
"We get to study ROCKS this week! Yaaaayyyy!" I told them.
There was a collective cheer (aka: deafening roar) when I told them we were going to go outside for a little rock hunt. I like it when they're excited. It makes me smile, but it also makes me nervous. I have to jump to the worst conclusions about their behavior, then lay out my expectations:
"Okay, but we'll be walking aroung the playground not running. Will we climb all over the playground equipment? NO! There is no fighting over the rocks. If we see fighting, you'll be sent back to the classroom without a rock."
"Oh, you can only pick ONE rock. Even if you found four or five that you really love, you have to pick your favorite one."
"And please only pick a rock that's small -- if it can't fit in your pocket, it's too big!"
They promised readily and faithfully to follow my instructions, and for the most part, they were pretty good! When we got back to class, they drew their rocks in their science journals, then wrote a sentence or two describing it.
"My rock's name is Sonic!" one boy told me. He continued, and shook his head solemnly: "The saddest thing about a rock is if it doesn't have a name...."


The Goldfish Herder said...

I love teaching rocks! No really, I do!
My suggestions to make it more fun... give each child an egg carton, they can fill it up until it's bursting as long as it's able to close. A plus for you is that they stack easily and really don't take up much room.
Another fun activity when talking about minerals in rocks and such give each child a chocolate chip cookie and a plastic fork and let them "mine" for chocolate chip minerals... and of course they can eat their findings. To add a math element you can get the candy coloured chips and then graph their findings!
I taught rocks last year and my kids are STILL rock collecting... and the rocks are covered with snow now! Haha. :)

Elissa said...

My son LOVES!!!! rocks. I have rocks on my night stand and rocks on the end tables. All gifts from my son. Some are "bones from mysterious creature" and some are "rubble from ancient cities" My favorite is the rock with a crayon drawing of Batman on it:-)

Elissa said...

But a rock without a name is very sad.

Mrs. Fine said...

I love the book Everybody Needs a Rock...that always seems to get the rock collecting a-going! Have fun. :-)

Shell said...

Of course that is the saddest thing about them. So cute!

Sarah Garb said...

I could name a lot of sad things about rocks--but that is definitely the saddest ;) Email me if you want any geology materials--we're wrapping up a 10 week study of rocks. Holy rocks.

@creativeedu said...

This really made me smile!

I highlighted your post in my Daily Digest of Education related blogs today as I thought other teachers would find it of interest. You can see it here:

jfb57 said...

How fabulous!!Rock Hudson would be proud!!

Randy et Jan said...

I am SHOCKED you don't get excited about rocks!!! What happened to your family genes? With your Grandpa and Uncle being so passionate, certainly some of this would trickle down to you!!!
Can't wait to see you and Max!! The chocolate tree goes up today! Come quick! Love you, Mom

Ellen Marie "Mama" Pike said...

The rock with no name sounds like it should be a title to a song....reminds me of that song "A Horse With No Name". lol

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