27 August, 2011

Plan B

Teachers deal with "Plan A" failures better than anyone I know.  Hmmm, maybe that is because it happens so often?  Please do not think this is because teachers often fail.  Rather it is because we have gone with the interests of the students, embracing teachable moments!

Example:  Just last week, I had planned a nature walk with my students. We were going to explore a specific area of the school grounds, and look for lovely leaves of all shapes and sizes - which we were then going to glue onto pieces of card stock, and press.  The results were to be the covers of the children's nature journals.  I pictures them sort of like this:

Instead of gathering simply leaves, my students joyfully gathered everything they could find that was interesting: leaves, berries, cicada shells, pebbles, nut shells, seed pods, flowers - pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. I didn't want to stop their investigatory work or dampen their enthusiasm so I encouraged them to pick up whatever they found that interested them. We discussed the flowers, looked at the shapes of the rocks, picked up some leaves (being careful NOT to pick any poison ivy), and generally learned a lot about our school environment.  The children were thrilled with what they found and happily glued for all they were worth, sticking all the items to their "nature journal covers."  

Now clearly, creating these fabulous pieces of art was a wonderful experience, but the items were never going to survive the pressing process nor would they make very good nature journal covers.

So I went with Plan B.

I photographed each of the students' creations, and printed a copy of each one on card stock.  Okay, it is not quite as fabulous as having real items grace the covers, but it preserved the integrity of the students work, and they were very pleased!  Plus, now I have their original work too, which I think I might have them make into a wood collage piece.  Bonus!

So if Plan A fails, consider the failure a teachable moment, and go happily with Plan B.  It will probably work out just fine.


  1. Your result of Plan B looks great! :)

  2. Plans B rock!!!! How many time have I done it myself!!!! I will love to see what the children add in their nature journals as the year goes on..


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