My students are a spirited, questioning, creative, and ambitious group! Our small, urban school is PreK-8, so many of these kids have been with us a long time: our learning community feels like home. These young men and women realize that they are about to become leaders of their school, and they are starting to think about their futures in high school and beyond. Grade seven is a challenging year, and they know it!
These scholars have what it takes: they are brave learners with a strong sense of community, justice, and service.
For our writing instruction and discussion seminars, we are moving away from the traditional upper-grade "everyone-listens-and-writes-at-their-desk" to a "small-groups-gather-for-coaching-and-practice-in-a-cozy-nook" model. The change allows for more effective, better-differentiated instruction that can provide all our students with the help they need to continually hone their skills. However, this model requires investment in a quality easel.
Our current easel, an ancient cast-off "rescued" from basement storage, can't take the weight of a person's writing, and it is a daily source of frustration for both myself and the students.
Some days, I have even resorted to ditching the old dinosaur completely, posting the lesson points and vocabulary straight on the cinderblock wall! However, when I do this, visibility for students on the "sides" of the circle is poor - and the papers don't stick for very long. So that we can focus on our language skills and not on our logistical troubleshooting abilities, we desperately need a new easel!
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