Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sixth Graders Save the Day!

I messed up. I really messed up.

Let me explain, for the past week and a half we have been writing, researching and revising to create original picture books. This project has been going well and the day finally arrived...the groups were going to get the book to publish! Except, I made a HUGE mistake. Numbers got me again!

I miscounted the pages in the picture books. I thought sixteen pages meant there were sixteen pages that would turn into thirty-two pages! NO. Sixteen pages meant eight pages with two sides. More than fifty sixth-grade students have been working on these projects for awhile and I felt TERRIBLE! A student discovered this problem at the end of the third block. She brought the book to me and showed me. I was flabberghasted. How could I make a careless mistake like this?!?! When fourth block students came to class, I hung my head and explained my goof. I apologized. I told them how terrible I felt. And then I asked them for help. Students came to the rescue. There was no anger or frustration. They totally got it and they started to think. Suggestion after suggestion popped up from these students... some brilliant, some silly, some magical.
This discussion made me smile. In the middle of it, a student yelled out, "We still love you." Another student performed her "Worm Rap" to cheer me up. I couldn't help but laugh. Finally, my student who is always able to sum up a situation said, "Ms. Haseltine, can't we pick our own solution? Isn't that what this project is about, anyway? Can't we just do it our own way?"

Yes. Yes, you can. Some students are publishing their picture books digitally using google slides. Other groups are publishing their story with videos and some are continuing to publish with paper and pen. THEY solved my problem. They did it! I created the problem and my students solved it. And not only did they solve it, they worked to make me feel better about my goof. They made this project better than my original plan. What has this taught me?!?!

1. Count more carefully. (Hahaha!)
2. I teach the BEST students in the whole wide world!
3. Listen. Listen. Listen.

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.


  1. fav line
    can't we pick our own solution? Isn't that what this project is about, anyway?
    real line

  2. We all make mistakes. What comes out of them is important. Your mistake produced more thinking and kindness than you could have ever created with a lesson.

  3. My students love it when I make mistakes. It's a way that we become real to them. And look at the wonderful ways they are problem solving.

  4. I guess there is a reason you don't teach math, right? Your students stepped up to the plate. Perhaps the best lesson learned is that your students are critical thinkers.

  5. It's wonderful when our students support US! Of course, they are willing and ready to do that because you've supported THEM, so they know what it looks like.:-)

  6. Sorry, but my students are the best! One of the greatest things we can do for our students is show them we are human. Humility is an important lesson too. How we handle our own mistakes, is watched by each and every one of them. As teachers, we lead by example.

  7. TRUST
    Listening carefully
    Such respectful care in your classroom, Michelle!
    And "hats off" to your students who figured out REAL solutions to a REAL problem. That's life!

  8. Mistakes are opportunities for learning, right? You and your students are shining examples of flexible thinking and problem solving, Michelle!


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