Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Along Came A Spider....

There we were, intently watching a BrainPop video clip on amphibians when suddenly someone noticed a spider propelling down from the ceiling on its web.  Right over a student's desk.  So, said student jumped from her seat and screamed, "Eekkk!" just like they do in cartoons.  Which instantly caused several others to screech out. Suddenly, twenty-two students and the teacher (me) were fascinated by this little spider.  The students had cleared a wide space around the 'spider drop' area so I did what teachers do.  I took charge of the situation.  

"Oh, it's just a little spider.  We don't need to be afraid," I explained as I inched closer.  Let the truth be told, spiders are not my "thing" and I was putting on a brave front for the children.  I edged closer.  It was rather small, as I had guessed, but it was very black and really hairy.  Ewwwww!  The kids closed in assuming all was safe since I was standing there.  The spider was moving slowing down the web towards the desk.  We watched quietly.  I heard the end of the BrainPop movie which was now playing to an empty audience.  Something more riveting than technology was happening in the classroom.  

Just as the busy spider came within 5 inches of the desk it stopped.  You could hear a few of the students gasp.  "Why is it stopping?" one asked.  "Does it see us?" said another. "I think it's going to jump to my desk," predicted a third.  

And just as quickly, the spider began quickly climbing back up to the ceiling. 

"Wow!" exclaimed a student.  "I wish I could do that!"   

"I hope it doesn't come over by my desk," hoped another.  

And so it reached the top as we all watched and wondered. 

"Maybe it saw us and decided to get back to the ceiling," I suggested.  

"Hey!  Isn't it funny that the spider did this while we were watching a video about animals?  Maybe he knows we are learning about animals and wanted to learn too!" a student added.    

"But we are learning about vertebrates," countered a friend. "And spiders are INvertebrates."  (stress on the IN)

"How did it get in here?"      "How long has it been on the ceiling?"
"What does it eat?                "How long is its web?"
"Where does it live?"            "I used to think spiders were icky, but this one is cute."

I listened as the students asked their questions and thought out loud.  Fifteen minutes of valuable class time had passed and it wasn't planned.  A spider had dropped in to get us all to stop for a few minutes and just enjoy the moment.  To wonder.  To think.  To predict and guess and just plain watch and do nothing.  

As the students settled back into their seats, I watched as many continued to follow the spider with their eyes to the ceiling as it made its way across the room.   We got back to learning about amphibians.  

And when we all looked for it a short time later it was gone.
We're all hoping it comes back tomorrow.
Because a little, hairy spider put a  positive spin on our day.


  1. Once again, totally relatable! Kristin

  2. You don't give yourself enough credit Dianne. I think it was a wonderful, flexible, and POSITIVE teacher, who helped put the "spin" on your day. I love the questions and connections. What great observers.