This time of year is full of satisfaction tinged with regret for us teachers. The third-years are pulling away from us, but the younger children are stepping up into greater responsibility with pride. For example, when the thirds left to help the Upper Elementary class with the Greco-Roman feast, the remaining children cheerfully did their jobs in addition to their own.
All year on Wednesdays, we have had class meetings. This is both a community-building and problem-solving event. First, we spend some time appreciating each other. This takes several forms, but one is where the leader will ask a question such as, “Who noticed someone being kind to a person who was sad?” or “Who noticed a person who kept going when their work got very hard?” Several people will show particular appreciation to individuals for each example. Next, we discuss any problems that children or adults have recorded in our log. We finish with “the pulse”—where we send a hand-squeeze around the circle as a gesture of unity. While the meeting is run by teachers at the beginning, facilitation is gradually taken over by the children. It is a joy to see them taking ownership of this meeting which helps shape our community.
This week featured a wide variety of individual work in math, language, and other areas. Several children practiced cursive handwriting, others wrote stories. One of the literature circle groups prepared a puppet show for the class after a spirited discussion about heavy-handed methods of encouraging empathy (The Magic Finger) and another discussed the main character in depth, finding evidence in the story for their claims (Pippi Longstocking). Children also got a much-coveted opportunity to try out Lego robotics.
Mr. Ben, Ms. Mary and Mr. Robin
El Salon Morado Lead Teachers