In her popular, well-loved book, Really Seeing Children, Deb Curtis describes an experience with a child where she used a relatively simple encounter as a way to ask deep and meaningful questions about the child's thought processes:
"Maddie was captivated with the shiny, crinkly paper that she found in a basket. She grabbed the paper and began to shake it with excitement as it made a loud, crackling noise. Then she pinched it with her fingers and explored it with her mouth. She quickly began to shake the paper again. I was curious as she put the paper up to her eyes and then went back to shaking it. Was she noticing the light reflecting off the surface of the paper? Did she see the transparency of the paper?
Maddie's joy in her investigation was obvious as she smiled and laughed with me as she tried each new action. Her favorite activity was shaking the paper. I think she loved the sound she was able to produce and my reaction to her, and she may have been delighting in the sparkles she could see coming from the paper as it moved. Next, Maddie clasped the paper with both her hands and began to stretch and pull it, watching the paper intently as she did this. I wondered if she had discovered something about the paper when she was shaking it as she was exploring it further with this new action. What noise will it make if I pull it? Does it still sparkle when I stretch it this way? I loved seeing the paper from her point of view and watching her joy and intense engagement with the magic of this unusual material."
Educators have the opportunity to slow down, observe, delight, and practice really seeing children every day. In her new book, Really Seeing Children, Deb Curtis offers a wealth of ideas to help teachers and parents see with fresh eyes.
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