In the Neverland areas of my mind, a brand new box of crayons is a magical thing. One whiff from an open box of Crayolas® and I am transported. There is something so hopeful in the bright colors and crisp sharpness of new crayons standing at attention in their neatly tucked rows of eight. The coloring trend over the past year is no mystery to me. Coloring is soothing and calming, a release of sorts from the bonds of work and worries.
Our Makerspace has an array of crayons and coloring supplies, so this past Thursday – in celebration of National Crayon day - I offered passes to 20 6th graders, on a first-come first-served basis, to come eat lunch and color in the media center. After announcements only two students stopped by to secure passes and I thought that perhaps I’d had a misfire with this idea; but later, as 300 6th graders streamed past the library on their way to lunch, I was mobbed.
Much like our 7th grade jigsaw puzzle lunches, crayon day was a noisy affair. There was much laughter and jumping up to go find exactly the right color or admire someone else’s work. As students left, I was handed a few completed works to display and many of them asked if they could have a few extra pages to take home. Throughout the afternoon several small groups of students stopped by to see me. They hadn’t been able to procure a pass for lunch, but heard I had “lots of coloring pages”, could they possibly have some?
According to my students, being a 6th grader can be stressful and coloring is a great way to “just have fun like a little kid.”
I guess we all have a bit of Neverland in us.
As a teacher librarian in a 6-8 middle school, when I'm not dreaming up all sorts of tactics to get books into my students' hands, I am seeking new ways to harness technology to help them learn.
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