Home         New Here?         Website         Twitter        

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What I'm REALLY Thinking...

Third graders' brains are abuzz with thoughts.  Some of these thoughts travel down the path from third grade brain to third grade mouth but get stopped by a gatekeeper.  "Nope!" says the gatekeeper.  "Nobody needs to know that your foot's itchy.  We'll just keep that thought between you and me." 

The more important and more well-formulated of the thoughts make the cut and get past the gatekeeper.  These brain nuggets are ready for prime time, ready to head out into the open for public review.

And then there are some kids whose thoughts are all fast-tracked.  The instant the thought occurs, it hops down the tube that leads directly out the mouth--no gatekeeper, no filter.  Just, bam!  Here's my thought!

Whenever I read aloud from Charlotte's Web, I expect to get some unfiltered brain activity. 

A character perches precariously on a feeding trough--Bam!  "Oh!  He's gonna fall!"

Charlotte makes preparations in the barn--Bam! "I bet Charlotte's going to make a new web!"


Yes, for some, the internal monologue hasn't yet become internal.  The external monologue, though, can be quite revealing about kids' perceptions.  One year our student teacher was about to choose someone to answer a math question and we got an unfiltered look at Bryson's thoughts on who should be called on.  "Joseph's the smartest," Bryson's fast-track brain offered.

Another day, after literacy centers, I noticed Angelo looking down at his palms, fingers spread wide.  "Ooh....I got too sticky at that poetry center" he commented aloud.  Later that week, at our whole-school meeting, Angelo's thoughts were dropping fast and furious down the Direct-to-Mouth chute.

"Oh, I bet they're going to sing now" he said as a group of kids arranged themselves for a song.

"He's new to guitar club" Angelo continued.  "I don't know all the words to this song."

Another teacher sitting nearby overheard the not-so-internal monologue.  "Angelo," she said.  You're thinking your thoughts out loud--just keep those to yourself."  It was then that Angelo replied with something even more scary than hearing an eight-year-old's every thought spoken aloud.



"Oh" said Angelo.   "That's not what I'm really thinking."
Image:  www.thediabetesclub.com

6 comments:

Books That Heal Kids said...

I've got many Angelo's at my school. I like reading that book - My Mouth Is A Volcano to classes....gets those words to stop exploding!

Sherri said...

Oh, I know quite a few of these little ones in my social skills classes! Crack me up, and some of them really don't develop a filter even when they should. Kind of like when they point out the massive pimple on my chin...

Sarah Garb said...

Yeah--forget about it when it comes to noticing physical features or blemishes! They just have to comment aloud if someone is hairy, tall, sweaty...

Sarah said...

Hahaha!! I wonder what he was REALLY thinking?

I had a teacher-friend once who was really tall (6'2), and when she walked into the classroom one time, one of the students said:

"FEE FI FO FUM!!"

I guess it's the whole premise behind that old show: "Kids say the darndest things!"

Tracy said...

You are actually describing my step-son. That boy is constantly talking, and most of it could have been filtered out. It sometimes is funny to just sit and listen to what all does come out.

Sarah Garb said...

The "FEE FI FO FUM" story is amazing! I would have had a hard time not laughing in class at that one!
Tracy - I wonder what you'd get if you just wrote down the unfiltered train of thought! He probably doesn't even really need another person to keep the conversation going.....