My partner and I have not done what we thought we would do. As a planner and pleaser, I am completely disappointed with us but I’m also aware of what we have accomplished and the strides the class has taken as we worked through the challenges of the first term of the year.
We had hoped to use our inquiry to learn more about what the students knew about reading and giving them some more strategies to try. We had hoped we would be able to get them to write about their thinking and explain what they are doing when they read. We haven’t done any of that.
We did do some inquiry and some writing and started to get the students ready to use technology, so there has indeed been much accomplished and much learned both by the students and by us.
We have started a blog for the students and for the teacher. The students have learned how to login to the computers on their own and how to login to the blog by themselves. They are excited to be writing online and have had some great ah-ha moments. On the first day, we blogged a pair of boys were starting their first post. They typed it in and stopped to re-read their work. They couldn’t read it. One of the boys said, “Oh, we need to put in spaces!” It was great re-enforcement of one of those key first writing skills.
It has been fun to see some of the students who excell at handling the computers helping their peers. Particularly when some of the students who excell at computers are not the ones who excell at traditional school tasks.
The class has done some informal class inquiry into the nature of eels and snakes. They were able to work through from questions to searching to sharing of their ideas and learnings. Although this process was largely, off the grid, it fostered some great curiousity and allowed for an excellent writing opportunity.
The students have really learned about writing and being self-critcal during this term. They have worked together to develop a writing continuum which they can use for all kinds of writing throughout the year. It has been particularly helpful for the students who are writing well to challenge themselves to improve.