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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

In Fifth Grade You Can Expect. . . . .

Since no teacher or grade level can be all things to all students, it's important to identify what parents and students can expect at your grade level. As I think about this, I'd like to create an expectations chart with colleagues, but for starters I have the following ideas:

In fifth grade you can expect

Efforts to build and maintain a strong and caring classroom community where:

  • we have established routines and protocols
  • opportunity for voice, choice, and discussion
  • mistakes are welcome and imperfection is expected
  • we work together to get better 
  • we care about the whole child with a focus on social emotional learning, academic skills, concept, and knowledge, collaboration and teamwork, and project/problem based learning
A standards-based academic program that:
  • embeds reading, writing, math, science, and social studies standards into differentiated, student-centered, multi-modal learning experiences which are personalized to meet the needs of students
  • teaches the standards, in part, through expert visitors, field experiences, and special events
  • asks students to reflect on and develop their learning
  • provides students with a chance to showcase their learning to others
A program that emphasizes learning-to-learn, student interests, and growth mindset:
  • Explicitly discussing how one learns and how each child can develop their learning-to-learn skills.
  • Acknowledges that everyone is capable of learning
  • Focuses on students' interests and passions
A program that wants students to be healthy and happy:
  • We take students' needs, interests, ideas, and questions seriously
  • We respond to students' regularly through discussion, conversation, and email
  • We give students time to play and have fun
  • We acknowledge that happy children learn better and are more successful
That we think of family members, students, and all educators as important members of the learning team:
  • We collaborate with students, family members, and colleagues
  • We communicate regularly to all stakeholders so that everyone knows what has happened, is happening, and will happen
  • We are positively open to the ideas, questions, critique, and support of all learning community members
  • We continually look for ways to deepen and develop the program to meet students' needs, interest, and challenges
  • We encourage family members to speak up sooner than later when they have questions or ideas related to the teaching/learning program.
This is a start. I want to work more on this in the days ahead. What would you add?