Wednesday, November 06, 2019

School day reflections: How are he students doing?

It takes time to know the children you teach. As the school year takes hold, we're getting a good picture of each child including what they enjoy, what they don't enjoy, and how they learn best. What does this mean for our teaching and learning?

Now that students are settling in, it's time to increase the time and attention to independent reading. In general, by fifth grade at our school, most children enjoy reading. We are fortunate to have many good books available. Now it's time to revisit our reading time throughout the week and support our young readers even more.

We're noticing a lot os places where we can deepen the science learning. We've been working to find just-right investigation patterns, the kinds of patterns that make the logistics seamless leaving more tie for big think and exploration. In some ways, science is an add-on to our already full schedule so that means we often have to beg, borrow, and steal time from other curriculum areas to make time for science. To make this work, we're working to make the science curriculum as interdisciplinary as possible. We'll also continue to try out different scheduling ideas to make the time for this subject that we need.

We have good supervision at recess, and the students love to play. Watching the film, Jump In, together has also inspired more jump roping for boys and girls which is very positive and healthy too.

Students loved their fall survival stories--they were proud of the adventures they created, adventures that were inspired, in part, by reading the book, Hatchet. Students were similarly proud of their diary entries as people during colonial times--they captured the spirit of the times in their letters. There was lots of enthusiasm for the fall story contest--we'll read those stories soon, and students will vote on the best story in each class.

Most students are following the routines and accessing the many math supports available. For the new unit, we'll focus on how to master the content as we learn the many standards included in a variety of ways.

The learning community is growing stronger. Our recent field trip really helped to build our sense of team. We have many good team activities to come which I'm sure will solidify this sense of community even more.

All in all, we're off to a great start in the year. There's some refinement to do to  make sure that every child feels like they belong and are part of the program in meaningful ways. We'll work on that and continue the parts of the program that are working well. Onward.