Sunday, March 22, 2015


Oni and I are diligent about establishing and maintaining a positive classroom culture.  We want our students to safely explore those risk-taking challenges that push them towards an A-Ha! moment.

Our beliefs are couched within the premise that in order to own the learning our students must enjoy the ride.

Kids in First Grade do not have it easy these days.  We assess and test their progress at every turn.  Recently within a two week period they had a social studies test, performance-based assessments in writing (both formative and summative), an end-of-unit test in Fundations (on the building blocks of reading), Diagnostic Reading Assessments (to establish independent and instructional reading levels), and a 24-Question math test on comparing numbers (it's more difficult than you might think).

We always frame the assessments within the parameters of the fact that it helps us teach them better.  Tests and assessments let us know how we are doing.

To promote this "It's okay to make mistakes" mentality one student brought in a picture she found and colored which read, "Mistakes are proof that you are trying".

She shared it with the class and -- with a spirit I heartily applaud -- another little girl defiantly stated, "No!  I make lots of mistakes and I don't try!"

It is impossible to impart how much I loved her screwed up face and confusion as she tried to wrap her head around that golden nugget of wisdom.  It showed me that she is always questioning.

And that is something I encourage most of all.


37paddington said...

omg, i love that kids! actually, both of them!

Gary said...

37 - I shared your comment with the girls today and they were so excited that a stranger referred to them on the Internet. They mentioned it again and again throughout the day. So, you made them feel special and it was wonderful to see.

If you ever find yourself wanting to do a class visit about the writing process I'd love to have you.


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