I hate to have those chats with the kids. You realize there are kids sitting there who had nothing to do with it, and other kids who you wonder if they took anything in.
Sometimes when I give little pep talk/"I'm disappointed" speeches I'm not really sure where I'm going, this was one of those times. At one point I said "We're going to start over." I mentioned that it doesn't always happen in life but we would start again on Monday. We would "RESET." We finished our conversation and quietly walked down to the gym. Slowly students came up and whispered "I'm sorry for disappointing you Ms. Bond" and after several students, one put up his hand for a high five and I said "RESET". After that moment I high fived each student, repeating "RESET." It was so random but meant so much to me and the kids and our little classroom community.
I knew that today could go just like last week had so I met them at the door today with another high five and an echo of "RESET." I might start all my days with high fives now, it was such a small gesture the word and the high five together but the kids bought in and we had a wonderful day today! Days like today remind of why I do what I love :)
Okay now for a couple pictures to even out the overly emotional post for today!
This first pic of an idea given to me by literacy coach Jackie Sweeney, we read the book We Are The Elders and as a "Before" activity for shared reading I colour scanned the pictures and broke students in to pairs to comment on whatever came to mind looking at their picture, writing down ideas all around the picture. They then presented their ideas to the class. It resulted in a rich discussion and I loved students' expressions when they were given their picture and they exclaimed, "YES, WE GOT A GOOD ONE!!!"
This next picture is a variation on an idea taken from Jennifer Runde's Site "Runde's Room" (see button on right hand side). The idea is simple, you look at a piece of work for peer feedback or teacher feedback and anything that is done well or deserves praise is highlighted in yellow or "Glow." Then you use green highlighter to highlight parts for "Grow." Grow meaning areas for improvement. I loved the idea but didn't have yellow or green highlighters so we decided to use neon post its I received in my staff sock from a teacher elf I still have not figured out! We posted all our persuasive letters on wind turbines around the room. I reminded them to use the success criteria we already had posted and had students fill out two GLOW and GROW post its to put on someone else's work. Myself and then an occasional teacher the next day discussed the post-its and we levelled each piece of work during a discussion. I glued the post its on to the letters to ensure none would fall off in the hall. I was really happy with the conversations students were having about their group letters and even more delighted to see the debate over what changed one piece of work from a Level 2 (C) to a Level 3 (B)!
Have a great week everyone :)