There are reasons why I sincerely enjoy working in a fourth grade classroom, and here is one example why.
Memory books at this age are not as elaborate as in kindergarten, but a wonderful token and a one-of-a kind creation made by each student…..pictures, poems, writing, …and I like to throw in a few pages of interesting information that will be valued more when they are forty, instead of a measly ten years old. It is then, later in life, they will be gently reminded of their childlike ways. Those patterns that have slipped away with the decades.….I am hoping these pages of personal information will awaken the child within them and again, they will find themselves craving a healthy overdose of sugar and a competitive game of four square. Maybe it will jog their memory of how simply a child’s mind operates…..so different than our adult brains.
This particular paper that the class worked on was titled, THE STONG AND THE WEAK ME. The kids rated if they were weak or strong at different sorts of talents… from math, friendship and spelling to soccer, organization and painting…..At the end of this paper was a space to list, “Three Things I Am Good At.”
It is here the kids have a chance to acknowledge and list their strengths.
Today while filing through these papers, that were completed last Friday, I came upon a sweet, loveable and tough little boy’s notable words…. His strengths were listed like most…”football, keeping friends and video games.”
The last section of the worksheet is titled, “Areas I Would Like to See Improve.” There had to be some innocent mental bantering going on between his ears, as his answers are NOTHING that an adult would ever conceive. These three blank spaces, that were intended to expose attributes the child hoped to grow in, were filled with the words:
2. The Desert
This mini-guy must have given strong consideration to literal places that he thought needed some improvement. It never crossed his mind, after completing the top of the worksheet, to list attributes inside of him that might need some development or focused attention. And THIS is why I love fourth grade…. Because in the eyes of a ten year old boy Mexico and Texas need improvement while he is doing JUST FINE and absolutely content in mastering football and video games!