I know there isn't any scientific data to support the lunar effect (The “Lunar Effect”, sometimes called the “Transylvania Effect” is the notion that the phases of the moon have a note-worthy effect on human behaviour and mental health, Neil, Colledge 2000.) but I am a teacher. Yesterday we had a Super Moon and while I understand that there's no research to support behavior changes from this, I challenge you show up in any classroom and you'll believe it's real.
Students were fidgety and sillier than normal. I noticed everyone had a hard time sitting in their seats and focusing. We had lots more movement breaks. My last class of the day felt the effect, or demonstrated it, the most. They are the class that loves to ask questions, you know the class, that could ask questions during the whole block...My favorite is when a student prefaces their question with, "I have two questions." You know that student don't you? Every year, there's one or two who ALWAYS have two questions! This year, I have students who start with, "I have four questions..."
There was that moment...that moment when I could choose my reaction. I felt the pressure of "we have to get things done" bearing down on me and that reaction would mean I'd shut down the questions and move on...except I looked at their faces. They were all engaged and their questions were relevant and interesting. I took a breath and decided to follow their questions and see where we landed.
Questions mean curiosity.
Questions were building community.
Questions are important.
Questions create thinkers.
After a few more minutes, I knew we needed to move on to finish our read aloud, so I introduced the "Parking Lot". It's a piece of construction paper hanging on the wall. While class is happening, students have permission to take a sticky note and write their question down and walk over to put it in the parking lot. I will answer the question during a transition time. This brings peace of mind to students...they know their question will be answered. It also gives students a moment to move around if they need it.
The parking lot was a big hit in last block. As class continued, I noticed four or five questions pop up. I went over and grabbed them and answered all of them as we finished the read aloud. Students loved it! Thank you for the fun day, Super Moon! It gave me an opportunity to introduce the parking lot and create a safe space for questions.
I am hoping to meet lots of slicer friends at NCTE. Safe travels to all!
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