This week’s post is illustrated by Jayce, our class photographer.
Hard to believe the end of 3rd grade is so near. The countdown is on and we have much to complete and prepare. As is often the case with endings, those who struggle with appropriate behaviors are having an even more difficult time with self-control. Their routine is changing, and that makes them uncomfortable.
In our class, this is a handful of boys who’ve made learning virtually impossible at times. Their interruptions, rude songs, comments and sarcastic remarks and physical behaviors fill the classroom and hall. We don’t have time for these disruptions, and so there are workspaces in the office waiting for those that will not/cannot allow the class to work because of their behavior choices. You may want to talk to your child about behavior and what you expect. Please remind him or her, that one person misbehaving is not permission, nor an excuse to join in.
On top of our “behavior-full” week, we’ve also been working to do lots. We’re illustrating fables, building our digital posters, completing school assessments, and reading, writing and “mathing”. We’ve focused on accomplishments during our daily S.E.L. discussions. We’ve defined what an accomplishment is and listed what we’ve done throughout this year. The children have begun to examine the evidence of their own learning – they’ve done a lot this year! They are noticing the results of their efforts this year and that’s a good feeling.
Reflecting on the Year
Thanks to everyone for selecting a conference time. I am aware how full this time of year is, so thank you. This conference is a wonderful way for your child to take ownership of learning. It is rewarding to look back to see changes and growth. They can feel pride in their accomplishments. At the beginning of the month the children revisited their fall goals to see if they’d met them or not. Some had. Some had not. Each child thought about what might be used as evidence of her/his achievement, or what goal might be more realistic. Since then they’ve been making choices to help them achieve their goals. Their efforts make me smile. “I did it! I finished!’ A comment made by a child who’s been working to complete a 384-page book. “Well, that took a while.” A comment made by another child who solved a three-step math problem using multiplication, subtraction and division. “We learned to play another song today. Maybe we’ll learn another on next week.” A comment made by a child, surprised to learn more after the concert.
It will be rewarding to put our portfolios together. Collectively, the children seem excited about what they’re seeing. It will be even more wonderful to take that final step and share.
This week the children are illustrating their fables. They are looking forward to reading each other’s and learning the lessons their classmates chose to “teach” the class. These short narratives show what the children have learned about leads and conclusions, transitions and use of elaboration strategies. They also demonstrate where 8 and 9-year olds are developmentally as they learn how to consider the understanding of others. The picture in their minds as they read and discuss their fable, is much more complete than their words share. They assume we are picturing the same thing. Surely they will make you smile and think!
Not having a full awareness of an outside audience also shows in their persuasive state Wonder writing. But looking back and considering their growth from their zoo writing, to their global geography share to this, we can see their accomplishments. They’ve learned more about researching and note taking. Many have moved beyond “Googling” for a single answer and are willing to read long informational text to gain understanding. They’ve learned about organizing and paragraphing and are getting more skilled with punctuation.
Bits and Pieces:
- We’re enjoying Maxi’s Secret. It is interesting to explore differences – Maxi is deaf, Abby is blind, Timminy is short and Devon has hemiplegia.
- We’ve been working through our many school assessments in reading, writing, and math.
- Tag and World Cup are popular recess games. It’s fun to see the whole class playing together during our morning recess. They enjoy that time together too.
- We’ve been reading books by Meghan McCarthy this week to guide our discussions about accomplishments and habits for success. They have wonderful endnotes and information that we have not shared in class. They’d be great to explore at home together.