Thursday, October 7, 2010

What color is your parachute?

When I got home this afternoon, Archer greeted me at the door with big news.  "At Pinnacle today," he reported, "I got one of the two highest scores on the thought of the day."

I've written about the thought of the day before.  It's a challenge for Archer to interpret these sayings, maxims, and quotations, which often rely on metaphors and lateral thinking.  Since Pinnacle has started again, he's struggled, usually earning one or one and a half points on the three-point scale.

I always encourage him and praise him for the way he works on the thought.  From what I see in the notebook he brings home every week, he uses the strategy of working out what he thinks as he writes.  You can see the gears turning while he composes sentences one after the other, trying to buy time for himself as he thinks about what the words mean and what connections the combination might suggest.

Today he earned 2.5 points, tied with one other student for the high score in the class.  I think he had a creative response that actually deepens the meaning of this saying for me, even though it's not exactly what "open minds" means to most of us.  Here's the thought and his response:
"Minds are like parachutes.  They only function when they are open."
Your brain can only run when you are given something to work on.  It must run if you need to finish some kind of work.  Your brain needs to run that way because it contains everything you know.  That's like a parachute: it only runs if it's opened.  When you are given work to do, your brain "opens."

1 comment:

the secret knitter said...

Is Archer using scare quotes? Very impressive, if so.