Many of you who follow this blog know that my students are voracious writers. Much of their writing is through their KidBlogs (Did I Make the Grade?, Whose Voice is Heard?). They set the expectations the first week of school. Rarely do I give them a prompt, however, I wanted to know how they felt that they had grown and changed a person from our time together this year. I wondered if they had seen the same growth that I had seen or if they had made discoveries about themselves that I had missed. I always find these posts particularly insightful. If you want to know what a student thinks, ask them. You will gain a wealth of information that can guide you in preparing learning activities that will meet their needs.
What I learned this time was a re-occurring theme. Their own words express it best...
What I want to accomplish by the end of Fifth Grade is I want to learn how to teach other individuals how to become better learners so that they can teach others.
I have learned to teach myself and others too. So now others can learn the same way I did. In the fifth grade, I have learned how to become successful in life.
I want to accomplish learning about what everyone is like what their opinions are because they all matter. what I want to accomplish at the end of the year to here what others think and what they got to say.
I need to help other people to under stand the subjects that they are having trouble with.
Well, when I began 5th grade I usually did things on my own, but now I see why it is important to work as a team and not always do things alone. I guess that is one way I have changed as a person.In a world where so many in society are complaining about apathetic youth and bemoaning our future, I discovered a class who was very "others" centered. Yes, they want to learn, communicate, and share their voices, but they understand why it is important to connect and collaborate with others. My brilliant learners had come up with this separately on their own. Yes, in our classroom, we live that idea everyday by sharing our background experiences, thoughts, ideas, and respectfully challenge one another's thinking. However, through their experiences they found the relevance of it and pursue that course daily within and without of the classroom walls. We cannot be a world that only looks for what we need and "take" from others without being willing to jump in and give back our knowledge, our expertise, and parts of ourselves.