My wife bought my seven-year-old son an Angry Birds sketchbook. I wanted to buy the cheap one on sale, but she insisted that if it felt special to him it would be a subtle message that we think his learning is worth investing in.
So, we give him the notebook and instantly he starts filing it up, not page-by-page, but with gaps in between. He writes in the cracks of pictures. He makes up rhymes. He tells a whole story of a three geese who decide to break with the group and forge their own path. He draws more pictures. He makes lists of things he wants to do. He designs a floor plan for the ultimate treehouse.
But he also draws shapes, trying his best to get a three-dimensional perspective. And he takes one whole sheet and decides to write the numbers from zero to one thousand, in little rows of tens. He writes a persuasive piece on why schools should allow computers.
The point is that it’s all over the place.
And I’m left with this lingering thought: in this notebook, there is no separation of humanities and STEM. There is no separation of logic or creativity.
Sometimes I wish I was allowed to teach in a way that was more like my son’s notebook.