Today was such a great day in our class!! As we always do on Thursdays after lunch, we set out to clean out our desks and complete any remaining work. We had begun a fun book, "Monster Colors," during literacy centers, but this book was definitely a longer project than the allotted 20 minute center time. As a special privilege, because students were following classroom expectations, :-) I allowed the kids to use markers to write the color word and to outline the different colored monsters. They understood and appreciated that outlining with markers provided a nice contrast when they filled them in with colored pencils or crayons. In the background, I played the music from the Curious George soundtrack, particularly focusing on the songs that mentioned sharing and friendship. As many of the kids recognized the songs, I enthusiastically shared how the music makes me feel calm and happy. "It makes me happy too," chimed several little voices. Kids began singing along as they worked, staying focused and on task for much longer than I had ever seen them before. As they found and completed papers in their desks, they energetically popped over to ask me a question or hand me a paper to put in their Thursday envelopes. Each and every student was committed, engaged, and fully present, doing their best to take their time and do their highest quality work. I gave them updates on how much time they had until "calendar time", yet when I announced the ending of our work time, they begged for me to reset the timer so that all of their work could be done and sent home. I smiled to myself as I put 10 more minutes on the timer. Kids were begging to work! Who would have imagined that just a few weeks ago?