The Ways a Mind Can Work

Acadia asked me to hold this piece of green tape, and placed it in my hands.
Then she went and got the hole punch in this photo, and punched a hole in the tape.
I couldn't figure out what she was doing, but she seemed very intent on something.
She got this straw and began fitting the tiny green dot of tape over the end.
I still wasn't sure what she was up to, so I kept watching.
She had me hold the green tape a few more times, each time taking the little dot that emerged from the hole punch, and fitting it on the end of the straw. Evidently they kept falling off.
Next, she asked me to hold one end of the straw, and she put a dot of tape on the other end. What could she be doing? Why?
Finally, she took the straw in both hands and tipped it back and forth. I began to understand, when one of the tape-dots fell off, and the yellow stick in this picture slid out of the straw.
Had she been trying to trap the yellow stick inside the straw all along?
Imagine the thought process that went with this interaction between a child and these materials. I don't think I would have ever thought to use tape in this way. I wonder at Acadia's idea --finding the straw, putting the little stick inside it, and then realizing that the hole punch would make a "lid" out of the tape which would fit perfectly over the end of the straw.                      

I am so glad I didn't make any assumptions or ask any questions that caused Acadia to doubt what she was doing, because what she was doing was wonderful.


  1. This is so important, documenting "rigor." This word has come to symbolize young children being forced to memorize rote disconnected info, so disheartening.
    But here, you have documented deeply thoughtful (and challenging) self-directed work.
    Yay! It's such a wonderful example of teaching/learning.


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