Ryan is usually the first one into the room, which is fitting, given his intense personality.  He is eager, sometimes over-eager, to show what he knows.  In time, he and I will talk about how he relates to his peers, and how it sometimes gets in the way of his working well in a group.  

In the meantime, he has this little ritual.  He says hi to me, walks to his desk, sets down his backpack, and then he turns and reads the daily quote.  I put up a new saying every day on a white board perched over the chalkboard at the front of the room.  I use bright colors and try to have the quote relate to the day’s activities as often as possible.  Ryan always has a comment, some reaction.

Not everyone reads the quotes, and even if they do, they don’t often say anything.  But for some students, these trigger a conversation with other students or with me that sometimes dive into really meaningful areas.  Some students write every one of them down in their journals.
Today, the quote reads:  “If you know, teach.  If you don’t know, learn.”

Ryan asks, “Is this about the study groups?”

“Yep.  That summarizes pretty well what we’re going to be trying to do today.”