For my younger students, they are obsessed with ... my fingernails.
My friend Kathy Kawasaki was working on a presentation about inquiry based learning she'll be giving October 15, 2016 and we exchanged a few emails back and forth. In one of them, I shared just a few questions that have been fired my way about my manicure:
Today the authentic inquiry was all about my fingernails. Some of their questions (and my follow up questions) were:S - Did you paint your nails?S - Are those real?S - Why are your nails so long?T - My nails were this same length last week. I wonder why there are so many questions this week about them? I wonder if the colour has anything to do with it?
I'll bet my last dollar that the colour had a LOT to do with it. At the beginning of the school year, my "claws" were painted a demure grey. I thought I broke one and went to get them trimmed down - turns out my shellac polish is pretty sturdy and my actual nail wasn't broken after all. Instead, I had a fresh new manicure with a new coat of paint.
Bright pink and shiny does attract a lot more attention!
I'm also fascinated by how my nails have the ability to either focus or distract students. Wiggling my fingertips helped a student come with me in line down the hall when he was inclined to do otherwise. A restless student at an assembly sat still when they could investigate my fingertips. Yet, while demonstrating our "What is media?" actions, some students couldn't help but grab my hands and feel the ends of my fingers, to the detriment of their own actions they were supposed to perform.
Believe it or not, this fingernail focus fits right in with my long-range plans. I'm returning to selecting an inquiry question as the basis for my long range plans for the term - last year, I tried to work with the class inquiries, but that turned out to be too complicated and cumbersome. The kindergarten division question was based on an observation they had of a tree leaking sap and so our "theme" is Inside and Outside. The primary division question stemmed from their interest in new students to the school so we will look at Identity. Hopefully I can channel this interest into other areas and make it less about me and my body parts!