Friday, January 30, 2009


Fascination is one of the positive emotions that seems to flow naturally when students are truly engaged in learning. I decided to teach my students this word today, using my new "Cognitive Content Dictionary", a strategy I learned in GLAD ( Guided Language Acquisition Development) training a couple weeks ago. I was floored when I heard a student use this word spontaneously, only 10 minutes before I was to teach the lesson. He found it "fascinating" that Miss Brown, our new student teacher, had used such "cool" things to make her 100th day of school collage. Groups of 10: bottle caps, marbles, beads, pennies and other fun items studded the 100 outline and my student was "fascinated." And so was I, fascinated that this 5 year old had spontaneously used this word in my classroom while joyfully exclaiming that the collection was, so cool!
As we talked about fascination, I watched the little faces light up as they shared something they were excited to learn about. The energy seemed to take us, effortlessly, into the rest of our learning day.
Later in the morning, I had a brainstorm, perhaps fueled by the mindful time I had spent pondering my students' interest in the word fascination. I decided to give each child a small notebook with the words, "My Fascination Journal" on the front. I told them that they could write about anything they are fascinated about, whenever they have free time or have finished their work. The response was a group cheer, "Awesome!" One boy drew pictures of planets and copied the words "outer space" above. He wrote " I am fascination by..outer space!" It was adorable.
Fascination fuels discovery and work in a classroom. Kids were looking at picture dictionaries to write about space, bugs, tractors and more, and I promised that we would do some "research" to find facts for their new journals.
I am excited to explore more ways to bring positivity and engagement to my classroom. And I am fascinated by the simplicity in implementing strategies to fuel and harness the power of these emotions.

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