Teachers never know when a student is going to connect something she or he has learned with something else. It’s often a surprise when it happens.

Today my seventh-graders and I were reading from Scott O’Dell’s Sing Down the Moon, and came across this sentence: “Soon after the moon set we halted and made camp.”

“What does halted mean?” I asked. “Can someone give me a synonym?”

Halte!” J-Boy shouted, remembering a foreign word from our reading of Number the Stars last year. (It was a book that all the sixth-graders, including J-Boy, professed to hate because they said it was boring.)

“Exactly!” I said. “Halte is the German word for Stop! It’s like our English word halt—which also means stop. To halt and make camp is to stop and make camp. Good job, J-Boy!”

Connections. Sometimes students make them and sometimes they don’t.

But when they do, it’s an occasion for celebration.

Posted on September 21, 2009, in encouraging words, reading. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. We celebrate with you!!

  2. Yes, INDEED!! YAY, J-Boy!

  3. Hey, I just learned a German word! Thanks teacher!

  4. WooT! I had some 9th graders make the connection between the title of “The Most Dangerous Game” and what was coming up next in the story via a prediction quick write.

  5. I think these are the moments that we are all striving to achieve. A student that absorbs the material, and applies it to knowledge already attained, is a victory for his teacher. A magical mystery!

  6. Just when you think no one is listening or ‘getting it’…

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