Read why one teacher is marching to Washington, DC at the end of this month.
Walking to School: Why I'm Marching….: “I was born and raised in Washington, DC. In the summer the humidity settles down and the sky turns a sick, pale shade of yellow. The swam…”
I love reading professional books. I especially love reading professional books that nudge and challenge those teaching ideas that become solidified (and misapplied) over time due to misunderstanding and misguided mandates. When teachers “do” whole language or “do” mentor texts, as Fletcher mentions in this podcast, a red flag should go up: “doing” is scripted and regulated. Instead, we need teachers who watch kids and encourage conversation in the classroom, then use this to inform their teaching. The podcast below with Ralph Fletcher is a glimpse into Fletcher’s latest work regarding mentor texts and I know I’m going to love reading the book when it comes to my mailbox in September.
On the last day of school, I asked my students to contribute a line for a class piece on the important things about grade 2. We modelled this piece on The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown http://amzn.to/qohItz Although I might have highlighted different important things, I took heart at the fact that several lines addressed our classroom community in some way. Since this was a major focus of our learning this year it was encouraging to hear the children’s learning expressed in this way. This is what they said:
The important thing about grade 2 is that you learn to read more challenging books.
It is also true that you learn to listen a lot.
And that you make lots of friends.
And that you learn to write lots of stories.
And that your classmates and your teacher are important.
And that you work as a team.
And that you have opportunities to work with different things.
And that you have fun.
And that you learn to write long and big sentences and stories.
And that you respect people.
And that you have a great teacher.
And that you learn a lot.
And that you learn to use class expectations and the school motto.
But the important thing about grade 2 is that you learn to read more challenging books.
Note: The class expectations mentioned above are school wide expectations. They include the following: listen to adult instructions the first time; keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself; walk in the school. Our school motto is take care of ourselves, take care of each other, take care of our school.