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Friday, May 19, 2017

Specifically Charting the Focus Ahead: A Joyful and Meaningful Time

The calendar is set for the final weeks of school. Everyday is filled with wonderful learning and teaching activities, and as I think about dignity today, I want to think more specifically about the focus of all of these events.

Final Math Assessments and Goals
Several students are about ready to complete an expected online math goal. I want to make the time and provide the support to students so they can complete this goal. What's important here is that the goal provides students with a worthy foundation of math understanding and visualization--a foundation that will support later study.

All students have to take the final math assessments too which they will do at the end of next week. It's important that students understand that this is a systemwide requirement and one that gives them an opportunity to show what they know. Doing their best is what is important since what we learn from student assessments will help us to help parents and next year's teachers teach the students well.

Biography Project: Global Changemakers
Essentially this project provides every child with one global changemaker "mentor" since their study will reveal how one transformative individual lived/lives and to made/makes a difference in the world. These modern and historical "mentors" will inspire students now and in the future and the project will provide students with critical thinking, research, writing and presentation skills.

Field Day
Field Day is all about good sportsmanship, fun, health and team. It's also a chance for those students who love and enjoy the physical fitness aspects of life the most to shine.

Field Studies
Field studies related to historic Boston and local wetlands will provide students with an opportunity to learn in rich city and nature landscapes. We hope this learning will inspire students and families to continue this kind of learning in their lives outside of school as well.

Students love the hands-on science, tech, engineering, art, and math design and exploration activities. They will have the chance to engage in a number of these activities at the end of the year--activities which teach them how to work with their individual and collective creativity, knowledge, research, and skill to innovate, invent, and design solutions to real-world problems.

Fifth Grade Play
The fifth grade play teaches students how to work with the arts as a team. They learn that a good performance depends on all of their skills, talents, and attention to the team needs and efforts. They will also learn the magic of the arts as they watch the way their collective performance brings joy, smiles, interest, and emotion to the audiences of schoolmates and family members.

Celebrations and Fun
The end-year celebrations are well orchestrated providing students with the right amount of memory, reflection, relaxation, and joyful celebration. The celebrations signal the end of the year, and for our students the end of elementary school, and this is important because it's important to acknowledge the important milestones in life--milestones that bring meaning and happiness.

As one teacher involved in all of these events, what's important is to be present for the students coaching and helping every child to get the most out of each event in positive, meaningful, and joyful ways. Onward.