As I have found out in my own personal life over the past week, sometimes the best laid plans certainly go astray. Back today, I have carefully laid out what I wanted to accomplish with the students today. By 11:00 a.m., it was pretty evident that my plans for the day certainly would not happen as originally planned. I felt the need to talk about our pencil project that we had started planning last week before life got in the way, so to speak. Our class discussion suddenly consumed our writing time. The rainy day once again afforded a great opportunity to get some posters done so we could start our pencil cart during Friday’s lunches. Recess was over and I stood mesmerized outside the classroom door for ten minutes, watching some incredible learning take place. One group worked on a book trailer, one group worked on a flyer, while the other 16 students cranked out posters. It didn’t seem right to stop them. They were engaged, caring citizens. Suddenly, the plan to do some experiments on the water cycle didn’t seem to be as important as the investment in being caring students. One group of students sought out Mr. C. to ask him permission to hang up folders. Another two went down to print out the flyers in color. Yet another group worked with Ms. Howard to get their movie posted on the school website. And the rest of the students eagerly hung up their posters, informing other classes about their project along the way. We need more posters, they decided and they eagerly and silently went back upstairs to do more. The room was MCAS silent, the scribbles of skinny markers the only thing I could hear. “We’re working together and it will actually be worth something, it’s fun, we’re raising money for people who need it, just like Kiva boxes, we’re having fun for a good cause, we’re helping people who need help.” were some of the comments. Sometimes, you need to have your eye on the real ball — whether it is helping out family or helping those who have lost so much. Yes, the water cycle is important, but in the grand scheme of things, what is the more important thing for the students to learn?