Ashaleighy came into my class with a camera on Thursday. She is my quiet one who sits still and doesn't talk and generally looks like she's on task. She racks up on class dollars and hasn't spent a single one since school started.
"Miss Maddox," she said in her normal voice which is just above a whisper and always excited, "I need to take pictures for the yearbook!"
My students began chittering excitedly to each other.
"Ah yes," I said, because I'd remembered that I had sent a grand total of zero pictures to the yearbook teacher despite having multiple reminders to do so. "Come take a picture of our class." She giggled and began snapping away.
After a couple minutes of picture taking and my class no longer paying attention to the math lesson, I noticed Ashaleighy looking a bit lost at everything.
"What do you need to take pictures of?" I asked her.
"I need pictures of everyone working," she responded.
Ah, good. Salvation. They'd have to work.
"Did you hear that!" I asked my class as half of them began to diligently look like they were decomposing fractions. "She needs pictures of you working. Start solving this problem on your whiteboard."
They immediately began writing on their whiteboards. Ashaleighy snapped some pictures around the classroom, and then the whiteboards began to be lifted up in the air. Normally when they finish a problem on their whiteboards they hold it up so I can check it off.
This time, however, they were holding them up so Ashaleighy could take pictures of words like blobfish, knowledge, I <3 school.
I rolled my eyes half-heartedly and grinned as another picture was shot. Finally she left and my students actually began working on their math.
She came in a couple more times, once to find Veronica who was also taking pictures around the school, and again to get a couple more pictures. She left quickly both times and returned to work on the yearbook.
Really, I would have let her take as many photos as she needed. She was so excited to join yearbook especially because forth graders aren't normally allowed to do that. And even though I haven't figured out exactly how to talk to her yet, at least I can see what things she's excited about.