Monday, October 03, 2011


This little friend takes his name, Riley, from the character in the Boondocks comic strip. It may not be obvious from this picture, but he's striking a thug pose. He has all the signature moves of a thug. Until, of course, it's recess and he runs around like any other six-year-old boy.

That may be my favorite thing about this kid. For whatever reason, he has taken on the persona of a thug. But he doesn't let that interfere with his fun.

He and I had a bit of a stand-off this morning. During our morning meeting we were doing a lightening share (everybody shares quickly and briefly) and he chose to pass, as did many others. When I got back to him, because I go back so that everyone does share eventually, he still didn't know what he wanted to say. We spent more than five full minutes waiting for him. He did finally share something, thankfully. That's a really long time to expect the rest of the class to just sit and wait! He seemed to be trying to figure out how long I'd hold out.

I want to figure out where this thug stance comes from. I don't mind it but I wish I understood it better. At the moment it feels like a glove he's trying on, checking to see if it's a good fit.

He's very quiet, rarely talking with the class if he doesn't have to. During free choice, recess, or lunch however he's the star. The kids gather around him and follow his lead. He's practically overflowing with leadership potential.

He participates in all our activities, literacy and math work stations, singing songs, reading together. But he does so, typically, in a somewhat isolated manner. My goal is to pull him in and, ideally, right in front. I want him to see how much he can be a leader in the classroom and not just on the playground.

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