It’s OK (cool even) to be different. This was the big idea that second grade started with in our exploration of ourselves. We looked at our outsides including skin color, eye color and hair, recognizing that we are all a mix of dark and light shades of brown. We also looked at the globe and discovered that skin color, along with the rest of our outside features, comes from our ancestors and where our families are from in the world.
As we studied ourselves we also considered that there is so much to know about people that you “just can’t tell by looking!” As we explore community we know we will find difference and thank goodness!
Our brains for example, are all just a little bit different. We can tell this with one look around the classroom. Some are reading curled up in a corner and some are most comfortable working at their desk. Some writers find that words fairly leap onto the paper while others work very hard to fill the page. Some mathematicians like numbers and calculations while others enjoy geometric shapes. Some kids live for soccer at recess time while others prefer to gather in the library around a board game.
So what does this all mean? That is the question we have posed to the second grade. What does what you like to do, tell us about your own amazing brain? The skill of metacognition or “thinking about thinking” is a new one for most seven and eight year olds. The information they are recording and sharing about their brain strengths is simply a snapshot and is certainly not static. That said, we have been repeatedly amazed at how insightful our young learners can be!
We chose the categories you will see based upon current brain research about cognition and intelligence. We know that everyone has all of the categories but some are definitely stronger and may even be considered a “super-power.” The more we identified our “super-powers” the more we began to understand why we look so different as learners and why we all enjoy so many different things. We look at the work the second graders have done so far as an entry point into a lifetime of learning about their learning. Next question for the second graders to consider: what does what you know about your brain, tell you about how you learn best? Go super-second graders! There is so much more to learn and explore!
I love the feeling of all of us being
Different. Listen to that word
That just chimes the sound
Starting a fire inside me. Just
Hits something like a gleaming
Shooting star of the word
Different. All the leaves shifting,
They’re different. It hits me like
A strike of lightning. It’s just
Like a different world of different
People. Everything’s better if
We’re different in everything.
Nature, building, buildings, all
Of them are different. The thing
That makes our community
Stronger is difference in everything.
Everything’s better if we’re different.
“I will remember how all of this community and working has been fun.” -Rachel
“I will remember that I have good passions.” -Kellen
“I will always remember my parent’s encouragement to touch your dreams and soar with community and friends.” -Sophia
“I want to remember that it’s okay to be different.” -Maxen
“I want to remember about my real self and what I like to do. I’ll use it to be my real self when I’m older.” -Knox
“Everybody has different skin colors. It depends on where your ancestors lived and how far they were from the equator. It’s okay to be different because everybody has different brain strengths. That’s the way everybody is special in their own way.” -Kelly
“I want to remember my superhero brain strength. It reminds me of 2nd grade fun in my life. 2nd Grade is the funnest!” -Emma L