I’ve enjoyed following the student-led goal setting conferences with the parent-teacher conferences this week. Thank you for your time and your interest in how we can work together to create a third grade that feels engaging for each unique member of our learning community.
Throughout the week we’ve explore kindness, curiosity, note taking, learning about and using comprehension strategies for reading nonfiction and fiction.
S.E.L. – Kindness
This week we’ve read books and held discussions centered on kindness each day. We’ve explored what it looks like, what it feels like and what it sounds like. We’ve talked about coping with disappointment and dealing with frustration. We’ve talked about how fairness and honesty play a part in kindness. We learned the difference between being a bystander and an up-stander who advocates for others when there is an imbalance of power. We are all trying to live up to our own expectations – it is easy to talk and write about kindness. It is not always easy to act with kindness in the classroom or on the playground but we’ll keep trying and doing all we can to grow.
Reading Responses – Deepening Understanding
We’ve learned three different strategies for tracking our understanding: Sketch to Stretch, Essence – identifying the main idea, and A Line A Page. One of the things the kids have noticed is that taking time to write slows them down. At first this was a bother, but now most of the children recognize how stopping to think and write truly does help them understand and remember more of what they are reading. We’re having fun with the Humphrey book clubs. Humphrey and Og are inspiring classroom pets. We are looking forward to celebrating the completion of our clubs by making models of Humphrey, writing reviews and creating illustrations of our favorite parts of the books we have been reading.
We’ve been exploring curiosity. What is curiosity? When is it a good thing and how can we grow it? When is it a strength? How can it power learning and discovery? We’ve launched an independent inquiry. The children have each chosen their own topic and are in the process of questioning, reading, researching and wondering more. Their first step was to a choose topic they each had a lot of questions about. Then they began to explore our resources – both print and online – to see if they could find information that helped us answer their questions and that sparked more. Some of the children realized they needed to change their topic and others have realized they needed to narrow and refine their topic so it became more manageable.
Our goal is to turn our classroom into a museum and to share our discoveries with you in December.
Bits and Pieces –
- We had the opportunity to plant garlic this week. Garlic is an interesting crop because you plant it in the fall and harvest it in the spring. We had a digital gram scale so the children know the weight of the clove they planted. In May we will compare it to see how it has grown. We are hoping for a successful harvest in May.
- Thank you everyone for commenting on the student blogs and sharing them widely. Knowing they have an audience for their writing motivates the children – they love the comments from extended family and friends. This week we’ve learned how to add illustrations either by scanning a drawing, taking a photograph or by searching images. They’re becoming my adept each day.
- The class has been excited about the Who Am I? Scientist Project. We appreciate your support with that. The identification cards and hat blueprints are due on Tuesday, November 12. That is the day the hats and blank bags will be sent home so the children will have a full week to get that portion of the project completed.