"Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle." - Lewis Carroll
Our Current Events class has grown to nine students, although the two female members were absent this Monday. Some of the participants chose to "link" their puzzle pieces when they checked in, a hopeful sign, I believe.
Our Essential Questions had to do with self-knowledge: "Who am I?", "What is my learning style", "What are the traits of a successful learner?". A few written activities and some related discussion focused on recognizing and understanding personal learning styles. Once each student returns a signed AUP, we can start some online collaboration and blogging. Until that happens, I try to show them at least a few tools and applications during our class period. I'm betting that the "bells and whistles" will pique their interest and help nurture their interest in the content matter.
One class each of grades 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 had scheduled library time today. The emphasis this year in elementary language arts is on "genres", a subject near and dear to a librarian's heart. By pointing out examples of genres - categories, arrangements - in everyday life, I was able to stimulate, I hope, some critical thinking. Parents who take their children to the grocery store may be in for a surprise when the little ones start discussing the "fruit and vegetable", "frozen food", "dairy", "housewares", and other genres. Maybe the Genre Game could replace license plate spotting as a sport on long car trips!
The school year is beginning to take shape, although the new six-day cycle in the Elementary wing makes getting into a routine more difficult. We have moved from flexible scheduling back to stricter timetables. On the positive side, this means that I get to interact with the younger students weekly. The negative side is that I will not be free to collaborate with teachers from other grade levels on most days. I understand the reasoning behind the switch, but it does limit my availability at "time of need". I remain ruthlessly optimistic that all things will eventually work out.
"Whoever I am, or whatever I am doing, some kind of excellence is within my reach." - John Gardner