Celebrations Big or Small, They are all Important
Today I attended a writing workshop celebration that brought three 5th grade classrooms together. I watched as the teachers collaborated and the students collaborated. Student writing was everywhere, checklists were available and students were referring to the checklists as they left two stars and a wish for each piece of writing they read. I celebrate this today because this year we are trying out some new ideas in our building writing celebrations and being a witness to the beginning of new collaborations and the growing of ideas is amazing. It amazes me to witness growth in students and adults alike. I can be a bit of a geek that way.
Earlier in the day I attended a smaller celebration in a 6th grade social studies class. The 6th graders were presenting their social studies research and students were engaged in “Power Note Taking” that they learned in their information writing unit in writing workshop. Although the size of this celebration may be less in numbers of students involved, this celebration was big for me! This class had transferred skills from writing workshop into social studies. This class was teaching others about the topics they researched. This class was sharing projects that they created in collaboration with peers as a culmination of their research. This teacher and this class is beginning to transform their social studies classroom. I also attended the writing celebration for this class the week before, and it was powerful to see the skills being practiced across the content areas. I celebrate this today because I am a witness again to amazing growth in students and adults alike.
Last week I attended another 6th grade social studies class as they celebrated their research and learning in the content area. I listened to presentations in small groups, I listened to whole class presentations that utilized technology, I spoke with students who learned so much about their topics while applying skills that are transferring from their literacy lessons in reading and writing workshop. These students taught me about Anubis, Egyptian pyramids, the mummification process, the Nile River and the so much more. One student after he taught the class, checked for understanding in his presentation and offered pencils to all participants. The energy and excitement of learning through inquiry amazes me. I celebrate this today because I am once again a witness to an amazing teacher and amazing 6th graders who allow me to watch and learn alongside them as they grow in amazing ways.
Tomorrow I will be attending a literacy celebration in 6th grade on Information Writing around the topic of teen activism. This will be shared among 4 classrooms, and I am especially looking forward to this celebration because this unit is close to my heart. Last year I was part of an awesome celebration in one classroom in my school around this unit. I am looking forward to this celebration because like the 5th grade writing celebration today, this is another one that involved collaboration by several teachers and their students. I celebrate this today because I am so fortunate to be a part of all these celebrations where I take in all the wonder of learning that happens for us as human beings, not just students, not just teachers but as human beings. Humans grow in amazing ways.