Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What does "Ouch" Mean?

When Perkins' author-in-residence walked by Ms. Harden's fourth grade classroom, she (me) noticed these vocabulary words on the open door.

Endurance, society, good important words for anyone to know, she thought. Then she saw the top of the sign that said, "Visitors: Please try to incorporate these words into conversation with us!" When she noticed the word, manual, she knew she had to walk right.

The Perkins' author-in-residence is always happy to talk about using words, but the word, manual, had been especially important to her lately. Even though Ms. Hardin was talking herself, Perkins' author-in-residence asked to address the class.

The Perkins' author-in-residence looked down and then raised her left arm. It was encased in a cast. "My arm is broken," she said, "even my wrist. So kids, how do you think this affects my manual dexterity?"

"Dexterity?" someone asked.

"Dexterity means the ability to move well," said Ms. Hardin.

Since the kids already knew what manual meant, they were ready to engage in the conversation.

"Looks like she doesn't have too much of it," one kid answered.

Not bad, using an old vocabulary work and learning a new one. A productive lesson.