My 28 fifth graders are amazing problem-solvers. Together, we call ourselves the Ninjas and we adhere to a particular code of honor and work ethic at school, at home, and out in public. They challenge each other to come up with solutions, rather than excuses. We could never have guessed how much our drive for learning was going to be tested this year! I'm proud of the ways they have been able to adjust and adapt to new circumstances and keep pushing forward.
Our school building closed on March 13th, but our class is as strong as ever.
Our "classroom" looks a little different, but our learning persists. We work together many times a week on Zoom. In between, we work through tasks and projects. But, most of our materials, texts, and resources wait for us back in the classroom. So, our communications and feedback have simply moved more online than in person. I know I won't forget the way they were able to shift and keep trying their best despite such unusual circumstances.
In the classroom, we often use DIY whiteboards to show our math work or draft out ideas. Now, that we're learning at home, we don't have our critical resources.
Whiteboards and markers are simple tools, but they make such a difference!
My students take more risks on dry-erase boards because they can test something out, and try again if it doesn't work out. Putting the board in my students' hands encourages their growth mindsets and persistence.
Writers need space to express their ideas and foster them. Ralph Fletcher calls the writer's notebook a special place to plant seeds of ideas and nurture and develop until they are ready to be shared. My students need a personal journal to write their thoughts, feelings, and ideas, especially during such an unprecedented time.
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