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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Challenges and Moving Forward

Sometimes the dynamic, inclusive teaching/learning community I imagine does not exist and I get discouraged. I hope for vigorous inclusive collegiality, commitment, and care. Yet, sometimes there's a lot of disharmony, mystery, and unanswered questions, and at times you feel like a peon in the school, the do-it who follows directions without choice or voice.

To do the job well you have to move beyond that discouragement and pain in order to serve children well. You have to target your teaching/learning ship on what's in your control and do a good job.

So tonight, I right the ship once again in the following direction.

Outdoor Exploration
Today we prepared for tomorrow's outdoor exploration. High school students will spend their service day leading small teams of fifth graders into a wooded area near our school to explore the ecosystem there. Each team has an exploration card that matches new standards. it's supposed to be a beautiful day, and I hope children learn a lot and enjoy this outdoor classroom experience. We'll replicate this study again soon in another local conservation area.

Fifth Grade Play
Our masterful music teacher is working tirelessly to lead 80 students in a wonderful, engaging musical that tells the story of The Emperor's New Clothes. There's tap dancing, rap, singing, humor, costumes, and more. Now's the time for everyone to focus and practice in order to present the wonderful play soon.

Biography Project
That's the only expected homework now, and children are doing a great job. We're focusing in on Eleanor Roosevelt's life in video and a live performance to bring this study alive too. After that students will bring their famous people in history alive in costume and reports.

STEAM Exploration
Students will continue to explore STEAM with multiple stations and hands-on activities.

During our next buddy time, we'll read versions of The Emperor's New Clothes to the kindergarten students to prepare them for the upcoming play.

Math Study
We'll return to Khan Academy to boost math review and new learning as well as to prepare for this wonderful summer study option.

On Friday we'll celebrate our TEAM with a picnic lunch and game of Capture the Flag.

Focusing in is the key during these days of change and waiting. After all, teaching the children is where the joy and happiness of the job lies. Onward.