Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Teachable Moment

Everyone treasures a teachable moment. And we’d all love to experience one for every lesson we teach. However, they’re precious because they are extra special. One moment that will forever bring a chuckle and a smile to my face, is a direct result of the Classroom Slice of Life Challenge. It happened this week, and it happened like this…
I was teaching writing to my first content. I love hooking up my computer to the whiteboard, or using my doc camera when everything works well. Who doesn’t? It saves so much time; it's easy to read and manipulate. At least it is when you finally get it all working. My writing was on and ready to be shared. However, this day trouble lurked just around the corner.
In preparation for this lesson, I had spoken to my students about "slices", and written several myself, to model my expectations. First, however, I just HAD to give a short book talk on Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson, wanting to share my excitement about this new book by a wonderful author. Everyone was gathered up front for the pending mini-lesson. I muted the board to keep everyone’s attention focused on what I was saying. The book talk went well, and we even spoke a bit about the Global Read Aloud, and another book - The 14th Goldfish.
With my eye on the clock, I knew it was time to switch gears and share my slice, so students could practice coming up with ideas for their own writing. I turned to unmute the board and trouble hit..
“Great,” I thought, “Now everyone is looking at a blank board. The dratted thing has got to be close.”
Trying to mask my frustration, I looked around, but...NO REMOTE. Sighing, I asked, “Has anyone seen my remote? “ We all looked around, but...NO REMOTE. “This can’t be happening,” I thought. My students, ever helpful, started searching for it, while I tried to retrace my steps.  A couple of minutes later, just as I was really starting to get upset and annoyed with myself, one of my students piped up, “There it is, Mrs. Kires - It’s in your pocket!” Now, I am constantly misplacing my remote in different places in the room as I teach, but never, EVER, have I put it in my pocket.
I couldn’t help it; I burst out laughing. “Oh, my goodness! How ridiculous is that?” I said. I gave a quick hug to the young lady who’s eagle eyes had spotted my remote. “You saved the day!
Then came the best part.
“Mrs. Kires, this could be your slice, couldn’t it?"
“Absolutely! And it could be your's too.” I grinned and gave my student a high five. “Now, Let’s get back to where we were, and I will write about this for tomorrow.”
And I did.
The other day, as I was teaching my lesson trouble chose to appear on my doorstep, but nevertheless, things worked out. With the help of my students, I was able to turn lemons into lemonade by turning trouble into a teachable moment!


  1. So funny! Many times I lose things around the classroom and I just tell the kids just wait someday you'll be old too!
    Love it that your kids could write a slice that you created for them

  2. This is great! I feel like this often...even when I'm not in the classroom! I think I am going to have "mommy brain" for the rest of my life. So funny! Great story.

  3. This is great! I feel like this often...even when I'm not in the classroom! I think I am going to have "mommy brain" for the rest of my life. So funny! Great story.

  4. Haha! It's one of those moments you will remember forever! I am constantly looking for my phone...while I'm talking on it lol! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Love it! This is great that they were thinking along the lines of looking for inspiration! That says a lot about how they were approaching the day. Glad you found your remote too! :)

    (I don't use my Google blog information, but the Namel/URL option was unavailable -

  6. Oh, how perfect that your student recognized a wonderful slice and the power of story in the everyday. They are well on their way. I hope to check out some of their slices soon.

  7. Love it! I lost the clicker last week. Next day a kid found it on the couch. Good thing my head is attached, or I'd lose that, too.