Penguin and Eagle are our puppet friends that come to visit us at various times throughout the year. Each time they come they bring us stories about problems they’ve had and they ask us for advice and help in solving those problems. Sometimes they even bring us new strategies that we can use when we are solving our own problems.
Recently Penguin and Eagle visited us and brought with them a special gift just for us. They had been hearing about all the work we had been doing with inside and outside stories and they had heard us read “The Magic Crystal.” They had wished that they had a magic crystal to help them see each other’s inside stories when they were solving problems. How helpful would that be? So, on Friday morning when Eagle and Penguin came to visit, they brought us a real magic crystal! The children in Opal 1 were amazed as they passed the magic crystal around and looked at it so closely.
As CR held up the magic crystal and examined every angle he turned to CM and whispered: Can you see what I’m thinking?
When it was CM’s turn to examine the crystal he exclaimed: I just looked in it and I looked at RB and I think I saw his inside story!
The children had accepted the invitation to play and to try this work of asking to hear someone’s inside story.
Penguin and Eagle also brought us a new problem strategy to go along with it:
Teacher: Do you think this will be a helpful strategy?
CM: You can take the magic crystal, look inside of it for somebody you’re mad at.
TG: Yeah, you just hand it to them and say, will you tell me your inside story?
Together, we decided to give this new strategy a try. And before we even left the rug, there was a need for the magic crystal.
MR saw that ZB had a piece of a plastic animal that had been broken off.
MR: Why did you break that? You should put it away.
ZB put his head down and was obviously upset by this comment. Then another friend suggested, “Get the magic crystal and see if you can solve the problem.”
MR: Z what is your inside story?
ZB: Well I just found that under the rug when we were sitting there, I didn’t actually break it.
MR: Oh! Sorry I said you did. Maybe Kerry will fix it.
As the children made their choices for Explore, another opportunity came up to use the magic crystal to try and solve a problem. Initially, TG and RB were arguing over who would get to use the big spider in the game they were playing. TG got an idea, ran to get the magic crystal and handed it to RB.
TG: R, can you tell me your inside story. I’m wondering why you want to use that big spider so much. You’ve used it like three times and I’ve used it zero.
RB: Well, I just really like the spider character, but you can use it today.
TG: Ok, thanks!
All day long we heard instances like these. The magic crystal was used again and again as the children asked to hear each other’s inside stories.
LH: Why did you pick up all those blocks and not let me pick up any?
BV: I felt like I hadn’t picked up very many so I wanted to clean up all those.
LH: Oh. Ok, you can pick them all up next time.
B: Why did you want to pick them up?
L: I just wanted to help so we could finish.
B: Ok, we can both do it!
And at the very end of the day just as we were about to leave, I heard this as AG smiled and looked up at me:
AG: The magic crystal was used to solve another problem!