Celebrate this week

It’s Saturday.  Time to stop and celebrate.  Thank you Ruth Ayres for hosting here.
Oh what a week!  

Sunday started with my favorite yoga class. I love the instructor, the space, the energy and the feeling of renewal there.

School was closed on Monday, and the extra day gave me a chance to catch up at home. Bills, laundry, a few more boxes unpacked (I am down to the things that I brought with me, haven’t yet unpacked and don’t really miss). Bathing suits, summer tees and flip flops packed away. Warm sweaters and turtlenecks located.

Tuesday brought heavy rain, and amazing work from my third grade readers.  We’ve been learning about chocolate. It all started in September with No Monkeys, No Chocolate and included a month of reading fiction and non fiction selections. I tried something I’ve been reluctant to do before. I shared a book that was way beyond their identified guided reading level. The book was Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot. And they read it- beautifully. Now each of the six children in that group is creating his or her own chocolate Power Point presentation. Not only are they exploring the program and learning how to put together a presentation, but they are also learning to organize and evaluate information and how to be succinct. Their work is fantastic and each of the six presentations is unique.

On Thursday, I worked with a third grade class during writing workshop. The teacher led a focused mini lesson, targeting just  a few ways to go back and strengthen a narrative piece. As I moved around the room, conferring with writers, I noticed engagement. It was exciting to listen to writers talk about and show specific things they were doing to strengthen their small moment pieces. I also loved seeing the teacher feel rewarded as he noticed the power of an effective mini lesson.

The sun emerged on Friday, and I spent the morning in a second grade classroom. We’ve spent our Friday mornings in second grade learning to collaborate, plan, give feedback, identify topics of interest, generate questions and craft project proposals. We’ve worked on group challenges, and now students are planning their own projects. Yesterday they began their research. I learned about engines in World War II planes, the dolphin named Hope, how to fold an origami ladybug, and architectural considerations when designing skyscrapers.  One of the things I love about our Fridays is that I am learning with and from the children in a way that feels different because the subject matter isn’t coming from me. I often look at them when they ask a question and say, “I don’t know the answer to that,” or “I am not sure,” and “What do you think you/we could do next?” or “How do you think you can figure that out?” It feels like the best kind of learning. For them and me.

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