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...."