We all know how this question gets answered most often – with the standard “fine” response. My son was no different from most kids last year; he would not offer up any insight into his day at school without a little prodding. So, I have a little activity we do each day this year to help him recall exactly how his day went. It works whether I’m picking him up in the car, walking him home or he rides the bus.
We play “Three Greats And Another”. I start out by saying, “Tell me three great things that happened today and another thing.” And, that’s all he needs to get him started. The first time we “played”, I got exactly what I asked for – three great things in his day, and another factoid from his day. He told me he got to go to art, he liked his lunch, and he played with Matty on the playground. Then, he told me how Cameron lost his tooth during story time. As time went on, though, his answers became more elaborate. And, before I realized it, we were having 20 – 30 minute discussions after school about how his day went.
Sometimes, the three great things are obvious: library day, PE, lunch, the weather outside. Other times, they are telling: he was the first to figure out the answer to a question, someone picked him for the kickball game, a new student is in his class and his interaction with him or her, or he moved up a “level” in his reading program. And, the “another” bit isn’t always positive. He tells me of how someone misbehaved in class or hurt his feelings, how he was scared when he took a test, and he asks questions about events during his day.
Just by asking for “three great things and another”, I’ve been able to unlock the mystery of what happens to my son at school. It is a game I hope to play with him for a long, long time.