Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Things Seem Like They're Working


What words would you use to describe our classroom?

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Today after hosting a group of visitors, I asked my students to name a few of the words that they'd used to describe our classroom.  This is their list.  Five minutes.  A quick "Tell me what you're thinking" look at our classroom.  "Just so I can share it with our visitors," I say.

I was struck by the word "seaming."  

Make sure you spell it S-E-A-M-I-N-G, Mr. Allen, as in everything "seems" like it is "seamed."  It's all seamed, you know.  Put together.  It works.  

And so it does, this thing we called learning.  When, together, we take a few minutes to share the intimate reflection of who we are and who we've become.  Along the way, through talk, invitations, smiles, and hard work... we have, indeed, created something that "seems seamless."  

But like all seams, there are times it's worn, and so we restitch with stronger thread. There are times it "bursts" and we step back and say, "What can we change?"  There are times we've moved too fast and the stitches are tight and unyielding.  There are times that things aren't working and we rip things apart and start over.  There are times we have to think about which stitch will work best...

Straight Stitch - for those times where we know exactly where we're going.

Back Stitch - for those times when we have to try again.

Chain Stitch - for those things we link together.

Couching - for those pieces we need to hold in place to admire. 

Feather Stitch - for those times we need to embellish.

Seed Stitch - for those times we cluster things together.

Long and Short Stitch - for those times we can't agree.

French knots - for those times we need to get a bit fancy.

And so we work with nimble fingers and open minds to create learning that can be, in fact, seemingly... real!


What words would your students use to describe your classroom?