Monday Minutes

October 9, 2018

Celebrate the struggle. That probably seems like an odd statement. However, I have been pondering this thought as I have been doing walkthroughs this week. The walkthroughs have been amazing, with lots of collaboration among students! Students have been working really well together to explore different topics at a high level. The learning and talking is fantastic! While watching students work in groups, I began to think about this question: What happens when teams begin to struggle? What should we do in a situation where a group is having a hard time? Often, we witness teams repeat the same mistakes over and over again, to the frustration of all the team members. This is because teams process information differently than individuals. Sometimes we, as teachers who love our students fiercely and want to see them succeed, might rush in and rescue the team. I want you to think about this situation differently when it eventually arises in your classroom. Witness the struggle. Celebrate the struggle. Allow students to work through without interventions so that they have the opportunity to learn from the experience with the team. This will ultimately allow them to tackle future problems. When we solve the problem for them, they as a group are not smarter and will more than likely experience the same struggle again without having learned from the experience. So take a step back, monitor the situation, and watch the learning happen!

Instructional Minute

When students are talking in the classroom, you have an opportunity to see how they think. When you pose questions that require deep comprehension, students conversing about the questions lead to creative ideas and ownership of learning. Talk in the classroom also helps students develop their oral language. One strategy that helps to get every student participating in the conversation is to use talking chips. I have attached a talking chips handout to the bottom of this smore that explains the steps in detail. This is a wonderful strategy to use with a small group of students. The first time you use this strategy, consider using sentence stems to provide support for students. I have attached an example of scholarly language sentence starters to the bottom of this smore as well. Enjoy!

Upcoming Events

October 8 - No School

October 9 - Parent Teacher Conferences

October 10 - Bryan and Wendy out for training

October 10 - Staff Meeting

October 12 - End of 1st nine weeks

October 17 - Principal meeting (Bryan and Wendy out AM)

October 17 - Team Leader Meeting

October 19 - Report cards go home

October 22-26 - Red Ribbon Week

October 22 - Bryan and Wendy out for training, AM

October 23 - Picture retakes

October 26 - Red Ribbon Week Assembly (3-5 8:30-9:30, K-2 9:45-10:45)

October 26 - Trunk or Treat 6:00 PM

October 26 - Book Fair begins (ends November 2nd)

October 31 - Book character dress up day

October 31 - Principal meeting (Bryan and Wendy out AM)