Moments of Joy in the Classroom

I teach third grade.  A question I ask from time to time is this: Have we experienced joyful learning this week?¹

That was the question that sparked a 5 minute wildfire of joy in my classroom this week.  

Picture it:   45 minutes left in the day.  Students doing independent work, scattered across the room in groups of two or three.  On the floor.  At desks.  Under desks.  Under the classroom sink. A murmur of voices. Chromebooks open.  Notebooks open.  Books open.

I had just finished meeting with a group and looked at the clock.  6 minutes until our transition, when a few students had to leave.  Maybe there’s time.  I’m going for it. I approach the board and pull up DisneyPlus, hoping I don’t need to remember a password today. Yes! 

Student: (curiously) What are you doing?

Me: Just hold on…

Are we watching a movie?

Not a movie…

Just then I have Encanto pulled up.  13 of the 22 students are gathered around and the group is growing. 

Hey guys, we’re going to practice our reading fluency, can you help me find “We don’t talk about Bruno?” 

The music starts.  The crowd is gathered.  Three girls stand on chairs in the back.  They have choreography.  Laughter!  Singing!  Dancing!  Wide eyes of amazement from some: How do you know all the words?!

Time well spent.

–Thanks to twowritingteachers.org for the slice of life challenge.  This is day 25.–

¹Not sure where I heard this, but it is probably someone else’s idea.

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