Thursday, October 3, 2013

Scribble: a game of turn taking and laughing

I’ve been visiting and working with a service for a few weeks. There are twin girls “Olivia” and “Sophia” in the toddler room. They are about 2.5 years old. Olivia is outgoing and confident and loves to play and laugh. She has a wicked glint to her eyes and she loves to be chased. I comply with her wishes of course. Her sister Sophia is more reserved and shy. She stands back and sometimes becomes upset. I respect her wish to feel secure by keeping my distance and telling her so. “I don’t want to upset you, so I will move away and give you some space.”

Today, something beautiful happened. I of course continued with giving Sophia space. And it paid off. I was engaging with Olivia at the white board drawing experience on the table, and Sophia came to sit near me (Yay!). I helped Olivia with her sleeves which were going to be stained with ink. Sophia looked at me and smiled (Yay!) and then did her sleeves. I commented on her independence. She smiled.

The children then were transitioning to lunch (I won’t bore you with the details) and Olivia stayed with me. She eyed my clipboard which I had some notes written upon. I asked her if she’d like to do some writing. She smiled at me and reached out for my mechanical pencil. She made her mark. Then Sophia spied us, and she joined us. I smiled at her. She smiled back. I asked her if she would like a turn. She responded with a smile and said “my turn.” So she had her turn and made her mark. It was then when the lead ran out, and I had to show the two how to click the top to make the pencil work again.

We were playing a spontaneous game of “my turn, your turn” using my paper and pencil. It was my turn, then Olivia’s turn, then Sophia’s turn. Then mine and so on and so forth. Theo then joined us with a big smile on his face and he said “my turn?” So, we added Theo to our game, my turn, Olivia’s turn, Sophia’s turn, then Theo’s turn. We did a few more rounds, then Theo moved on to lunch. Sophia left, and Olivia and I continued our game for a couple more rounds. Sophia couldn’t stay away and she came back (Yay!).

I decided to mix things up and do some subtle intentional teaching stuff, I said to the two “I’m going to do a small one” and I proceeded to make an itty bitty little scribble on the top right hand corner of the page. This resulted in fits of hysterical giggling. I’d made a joke.  Olivia then decided she would do the opposite to me and she did a “big one” across the middle of the page. Then Sophia did a little one (which was really more medium than small as her skills aren’t as refined as mine). I did a teeny tiny little one, which resulted in even more hysterical laughter. Olivia then outdid herself and did a much bigger one, again saying “big one.” Sophia did her mark, but she decided to be loud and proud and do a big one like her sister.

I am going to finish this later and do some clever outcome talking type stuff … but for now on my lunch break, I wanted to get this story down while it was still fresh in my mind and my heart.

Today I was blessed with trust. And trust is so precious.  

* Olivia and Sophia and Theo are made up names.

(c) Teacher's Ink. 2013 All Rights Reserved.

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