Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wow, April?

It is shocking and amazing to realize that we are well into April. The longer days, warmer weather and upcoming testing remind us that we are well into Spring! Our students are a bit more chatty and restless, yet we are also seeing the work we have done over the year expand the capabilities and processes within our classroom. 

We've been working on debating issues about the environment for this month's Passion Project. We've discussed endangered biomes, water use and even the #1 most endangered river the Colorado River. Students are backing up their opinions and assertions with evidence, seeking reliable websites for resources, and even discussing point of view and bias. What I love is they just get more thoughtful, excited and engaged. One student, who is traveling to Colorado this summer, told her dad all about the endangered Colorado river, which had him checking out the websites too.

At the same time, Celina's work with CCSS ELA has our kids doing close readings of songs, poems and informational excerpts on math concepts. Students are making connections back to culture, discrimination and personal acceptance. They are marking their texts with their thinking and wonderings. I love that when I come back to school after a meeting I am greeted by a student who is gleefully telling me about the Text Talk song they listened to! So much delight over connecting words, feelings, thoughts and ideas.

Today was our first day of the "testing season" with a measure of reading skills. Our students were so focused and on target, it was inspiring to me to see their determination and perseverance with this assessment. It reminds me of all the hard work they are capable of, renewing in me that sense of pushing through in my own goals and matching their drive!

Our theme this year is "Learning is Growing" and our students are certainly coming into their own as we wind down. It makes for an exciting time of year, there is much to celebrate!

Welcome Spring!  ~Ann
(The photo above is of a card my dad picked up for me this week at Trader Joe's (by Angela Duncan) to tell me that he and my mom are super proud of me! It was fitting that a line came up in the book I am reading called Point of No Retreat by Colleen Hoover that fits this card to a T --"Sometimes it feels good to have your biggest fears discounted with a simple compliment.")