Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Journal: Week 2

One of the week's highlights was creating this bulletin board with the entire fourth grade team. 
Unlike last week's sunny, bright Friday, today was a sticky, humid day.  The children worked and learned with joy despite the heat. We created writing websites, listened to Chopin's Prelude in A Minor which a child in the class played at Carnegie Hall, looked a pictures of Carnegie Hall, wrote in our journals, read books, listened to student-crafted stories, played instruments, collaborated around math tech games, and engaged in some free choice.

Last night parents attended curriculum night displaying terrific support for their children and the school program--such a gift from a teacher's point of view.

The professional week itself provided many challenges from the new MA evaluation system's wavy waters to standards' debates, tech discussions (yes, debate about tech use continues to prevail sadly), and the challenges of figuring out how to manage the workload. Many of the professional challenges are perennial issues in schools, issues I wish would go away. (I know, after wishing them away, the next step is dealing with them).

Next week will bring the introduction to the persuasive writing unit, lots of varied math and reading assessments, more standards-based report card discussion, writing a STEAM grant, beginning our Native American culture unit, more MA teachers' evaluation and standards' work, and lots of student-teacher interactions, a busy, positive week.

In many ways the year at this time is like a train that's starting to gain steam for the journey. There's fits and starts as students get to know me, and I get to know students.  There's the ebb and flow of new teams, schedules, and standards.  All in all, the year's off to a great start thanks to the efforts of so many in the learning community: dedicated students, family members, teachers, leaders, and community members.  Onward.