Every once in a while, a new friend walks into the classroom on Meet the Teacher Night and leaves me with the WRONG impression. That happened this year. I had a little red-headed boy come in with his parents and he was like a whirlwind. He talked a mile a minute and moved at the speed of sound. When he left the room, I thought to myself, "Great, THAT one is going to be a handful!" Thankfully, he ended up being a total joy.
My little friend is never idle. He uses free time to create any number of things, which are usually accompanied by a use, purpose, and detailed instructions. He has made everything from cars to helmets which he wears to read other peoples' minds.
When not creating various useful items, he spends his free time assembling a huge, foam floor puzzle of the United States. At Christmas, one of my students had given me a gift certificate from a local teacher supply store. When that happened, I wanted to try to find something that would give me the most bang for my buck and provide a positive learning experience for most of the students in my class. The puzzle was perfect! When I bought the puzzle, my intention was to help the students understand borders, land features, and to familiarize themselves with some of the names of the states. My little friend took it a step further.
This afternoon as the day was ending, he cleaned up the puzzle and asked me, "Mrs. Searls, ask me what the capital of North Dakota is." I did and he responded, "Bismark." I figured it was a fluke so I asked him about another one, which he promptly answered correctly. He continued to answer most of my questions correctly, only missing 1 or 2. His quick and accurate responses captivated not only me, but his classmates. I would have never dreamed that that little, red-headed whirlwind that stormed through my classroom on Meet the Teacher Night would end up being one of my most memorable students for a totally unexpected reason.