Saturday, March 11, 2017

Figuring out what your Students are Excited About

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.


  1. that is great to find something that a student really likes!

  2. It's fun to see our students interest in other areas. Happy to know that taking pics for yearbook provided a fun outlet for her and a way for you to know her better.

  3. Looks like she found her niche! Awesome! That's the best way for kids to figure out what they'd like to do after school is done. :) Thanks for sharing!

  4. I like how you look for ways to connect to your students. I can picture how your students would act in front of a camera!

  5. First of all, I love the title. Secondly, it's clear that your room is a safe, nurturing, real place!

  6. This is SO funny! I hope there is a picture in the yearbook with all the wrong "answers." Maybe it's not funny to you now? I'm glad you for a record of this so you can laugh at it later.