Part of the art of teaching (a huge part, really) is maximizing teachable moments. These are those unexpected occurrences that cause the teacher to pause, reflect with the students on what is happening, and pull out some new knowledge. They are spontaneous, they are connected to the now, and because of that, they are powerful.
Our new friend Mr. Smoky Rabbitson has provided us with many such moments. Just today we were able to connect Smoky to a previous lesson on the importance of feedback in writing. "See how Smoky left his pen and hopped around while we were working? He is giving us feedback that we are doing a good job of making him feel comfortable! What would the feedback look like if he were not comfortable? How would we make adjustments?"
The students are so fascinated by Mr. Smoky that I have transformed our independent study area into a rabbit research center!
If ever the students finish their work early, they can look through the non-fiction books about rabbits. If they come across new information, they can write it on a piece of scrap paper and share their knowledge on the wall. We've learned so much! Did you know a rabbit's fluffy tail is called a "scut?" Me neither!
Little people, big minds.