Sunday, August 25, 2013

Welcome to Fourth Grade!

This is the way I'll start fourth grade this year.  

Welcome to Fourth Grade!

This is your learning community.

What is a learning community?  A learning community is the team of students, teachers, leaders, and family members who work together to learn, create, and communicate.

Let's figure out just how large our learning community is. First, we have 23 students, 1 classroom teacher, 1 special educator, 2 teaching assistants, 5 specialist teachers, 3 therapists, 1 student teacher, 1 interventionists, 1 math coach, 2 curriculum directors, 1 principal, ___ family members, and 13,100 community members. That's a LARGE learning community.

The learning community is here to serve your learning goals, and in return it's your job to contribute to the learning community.

How can you take from and give to the learning community so that you're a successful learner?

First, know that the learning community can serve you well.  If you need something, ask--don't stay stuck!  Next, work with others. Often the ideas of many contribute to the best big idea, solution, or decision. Encourage one another. The path to learning is full of mistakes and detours, that's why encouragement helps us to push forward towards our goals. Knowing your learning destinations and goals are important too as that helps you to chart your path. Sharing those goals with the learning community helps also because your classmates, teachers, family members, and community can assist you on your learning journey if they know where you want to go.

Contribute to your learning community too. If you have the skill or knowledge someone else is striving for, help them out.  If you know a strategy or helpful hint, share your ideas. Understand that no one is the "best," and no one is the "worst," instead we're all on a path to be the best that we can be as we become experts at knowing how to learn and what we want to learn. Knowing yourself as a learner and effective effort are the BEST ingredient to learning success.

As your teacher, I am your learning coach. I'm here to help you in every way that I can to develop your essential reading, writing, and math skills, and to learn all that you can about subjects that interest you and subjects that have been chosen for the whole fourth grade to learn about, subjects such as culture, United States geography, endangered species, plate tectonics, and animal adaptation.

I feel fortunate to travel a year of your life-long learning journey with you. I'm wondering what learning adventures we'll have as we meet challenges and share successes. As we journey together, I don't want you to forget that this learning community belongs to you--you're the main characters in this fourth grade story, so never hesitate to let me know what you need, what you're wondering about, and where you want to go.  I'll support you in every way that I can.

Now it's your turn to start the adventure. What questions do you have?  What can I do for you? What do you need? Where do you want to be a year from today?

Your teacher,
Ms. Maureen Devlin