The new school year is in full swing for Ann and I, and we totally cannot believe it is already October. The first month of school has come and gone, with amazing learning already documented. We have 54 students this year, learning and teaching along side of us each day, along with 2 amazing student teachers who join us several days a week. It is a full, busy place to be- but we are so happy and wouldn't change a thing!
Our first days were a dream come true as our 22 returning students greeted us with giant smiles and big hugs on the first day, quickly settling back into their home away from home, and immediately taking on leadership roles to welcome our new community members.
We have remodeled our learning space and have settled in nicely to our reorganized, redesigned, revamped environment. We took the advice from our students last spring and made their ideas a reality. Ann and I also enjoyed researching and reading a ton this summer to expand on our teaching philosophy and enhance the learning inside and outside the walls of our classroom.
One thing that took awhile to get rolling this year was HOMEWORK. I just had to laugh today when the kids CHEERED that we finally had it ready, because in our neck-of-the-woods we use PBL to guide our homework. And this year we our calling them Passion Projects, inspired by the book: The Passion Driven Classroom. The students choose a topic of interest to research through the month (at school & home), create a project, and then share at our Passion Project Celebration- in which invitations will be extended to our families. The students were buzzing with ideas today as they left the classroom. Our goal is to intentionally extend the learning from the classroom and encourage students to build on their interests, while engaging families in the process. Real learning at its best!
Great things are happening, we are celebrating, and there are smiles all around... And yes, for those wondering, we have danced...