Yesterday began with a terrific school assembly. My students led the assembly and I really enjoyed seeing their terrific leadership and sense of pride. School Assembly provides every fifth grader with a terrific opportunity to lead and speak in front of our student group of about 400. Assembly also gives them a chance to have lunch with the principal and plan the assembly script and presentation--they look forward to that too, and I appreciate the effort the principal puts into this bi-weekly event, an event that also helps us meet the teaching standards in a real-world way.
Later in the day there was time for recess, biography research, and math study. The lessons, overall, went well, However, it's clear that the stress that MCAS puts on the schedule, computers, and educators is beginning to show a bit--when many educators are pulled to support MCAS accommodations, the continuity of teaching drops off somewhat simply because the teachers and some resources aren't available for their typical day-to-day support.
At the end of the day, I attended a meeting that mostly focused on the "size of the problem" and some good discussion about helping student to clearly define a problem and choose matching reactions. This is good work that mainly began with our school counselors. Today will be more of the same. I want to focus in a bit more on the needs of a few students who seemed to be slow to warm up to the after-vacation learning routine today as we stay the course. Onward.