Monday, December 7, 2009

What if...

I love the way Seabury kids think!  Their minds are filled with limitless possibilities for everything, so discussions with them can go in such interesting directions...

Last Friday at our weekly Lower School Gathering, two girls from the Explorers class (4th and 5th grade students) presented an issue to the student body.  It seems that we had thirteen playground balls available to students for recess on the first day of school and now we now only have five because so many balls have gone sailing over the fence and down the hill.  What to do?!

Our girls had discussed the issue with Ms. Nancy, our PE teacher, and offered both the problem and a solution to students at Gathering.  Their solution?  For every ten days in a row students can go without kicking balls over the fence, Ms. Nancy will add a new ball to the playground equipment.  They asked students to work together to keep balls on the playground so that they can earn new balls and have more to play with.

Immediately hands shot up all over the room.  "What if a ball goes over the fence, but is still in the driveway on school property - does that count?"  The girls pondered the question and determined, yes, that counts as over the fence and they would have to start the ten day count over again. 

Another child asked, "What if the ball lands in the street, and a neighbor walking or driving by picks it up and throws it right back - does that count?" 

Pause.  Hmmm...  "Yes, that counts."

"What if the ball goes over the roof rather than over the fence?"

Thoughtful silence.  "Counts."

"What if the ball goes over the net, but lands between the net and the fence, so it is still, technically, inside the fence?"

Hmmmmm...  "That wouldn't count.  That would be ok."

After about twenty questions like that, it was time to "continue the discussion in classrooms and move on," but the discussion could have easily gone on all day.  What a Seabury moment! 

Our kids love to think about possibilities.  To dream about all the "What if's" they can come up with - about why the dinosaurs died out, about what it would be like to visit Africa, about what would happen if robots took over the world, about how it must feel to be homeless on a cold night like last night - about everything under the sun.  It's one of the things that makes working with gifted children so much fun and so challenging at the same time.  There is no end to the wondering.  What a gift to celebrate!

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