My resident teacher and I have been filling the room with sentences such as, “What an INTERESTING word!” “Wow, that is a really INTERESTING detail.” “Hmmm. What an INTERESTING question. Let’s find out the answer.” “That is REALLY INTERESTING!”
Apparently, all our INTERESTING talk is finally sticking. Today, as one of our kiddos worked on Imagine Learning – a super cool computer curriculum for English Language Learners and struggling readers – he heard a story about bugs. All the sudden, in the loudest voice possible, he shouted at me:
“OOOOOOH, MS. SANTOS, THAT IS REALLY INTERESTING! SOME BUGS CAN SMELL USING THEIR ANTENNAE!”
He smiled at me from across the computer lab and went back to listening. I just stared at him, working away, quietly repeating to himself, “That is really interesting. Interesting.”
It’s moments like this one when I again realize the power of what we say in the classroom. It’s easy to forget that words hold such strength for our students, especially as our youngest learners grapple with the English language. This little guy didn’t know this fact about bugs. Now he does and he can tell you how he feels about this information. To him, it’s INTERESTING.
Imagine what he’ll talk about at home tonight, what he’ll add to his writing tomorrow, or what he’ll say the next time he learns a new fact. By using a relatively simple word over and over, we’ve added to this student’s voice. To me, that is very interesting.