It’s an average school day and time for independent focus on a short vocabulary list using dictionary skills. Ten-year-old Branson shuffles though his binder like an Office Depot explosion of papers and supplies. The directions are clear and specific: locate the words, write the part of speech and a brief definition.
He stares across the room, lips pursed, with a circle of books surrounding him. Branson appears to be jotting a few things down, looking around across at classmates in thoughtful repose. Yet if you inspected his work, you’d find this bright child making a list of classmates in the room. A list, he says, for his three-year-old sister’s birthday party next week. Way off task.