Celebrate with Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes …. because, we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get!
There are perfect moments in every classroom, when a discussion takes off or students come up with an amazing insight while working collaboratively. There are even perfect class periods, when everything seems to just flow beautifully from beginning to end. But a perfect day…so very rare. And yet…that was Wednesday in room 202: A. Perfect. Day:
Our writing workshop began with another quick demonstration in my notebook. My kids are becoming comfortable with these messy, “real writer” sketches, especially the think aloud process. Then, we got to work – I on my usual perch, the stool in front of our room, and my kids at their seats…for forty minutes, until we were startled out of our writing zones by the bell…to which we answered with a chorus of “Oh, no!”. That’s a sign of an awesome writing workshop!
We turned to Language arts and Wonder Wednesdays, using our new “Really??” graphic organizers to share our Wonderopolis findings. The room buzzed with the excitement of new knowledge about topics as varied as bee stings to whether snakes have ears. The new template makes their reading so much more interactive and therefore engaging. A successful experiment!
Then it was time to move into reading workshop and our book club meetings. My kids settled into their groups and dove right in. As I raced around the room, listening in and jotting notes, I was so thrilled and proud to hear the depth of their conversations. Sure, there was the occasional off-topic veering off here and there, the sixth grade inclination to jostle and laugh at odd things, but the heart of the conversation was always intentional. Best of all, these were real conversations. Notebook jottings were referred to, and texts were consulted, but there was real talk about characters and issues and author crafts. Other than my own note keeping, I had no role to play…a beautiful thing.
Finally, we moved into our last block class: Social Studies. The project at hand was to investigate a stack of newspapers to see if we could find stories relating to our first and second amendment rights, our Essential Question being: What evidence can we find to show that our Constitution is a living document? Great debates and discussions flowed as students ruminated over articles and debated their merits. Notebooks were consulted, decisions were arrived at, and posters were assembled. Soon, it was time for a gallery walk to peruse other posters and more debate, once again. We were in the midst of this when the bell rang. The class emptied out, but I could hear the conversations continuing. Also a beautiful thing.
My prep period and lunch flew by, and then it was time for my afternoon bunch. With memories of our perfect morning still fresh, I crossed my fingers and hoped for something like it. My afternoon class is smaller, but full of big personalities. It is always livelier, always needing just a bit more reining in. But…the perfect day continued. We were louder, but just as engaged…happiness!
Who would have thunk it – a perfect day from start to finish, just like that!