A Time to Reflect

Columbus Day.

It’s always the first real opportunity to step back and reflect on the current school year.  The 3-day weekend serves as a much needed break to think about where we’ve been, what we’ve accomplished and provides time to make plans for where we will go next.  As I sit on my roof deck and celebrate the Indian summer I can hardly believe that I’ve had 5 weeks with my students.  5 weeks!  In many ways it feels like we’ve been together forever, but when I realize that it’s only been 23 days I feel joy for all that we’ve accomplished!

Here are a few of things we have to celebrate:

We’ve established a community of readers and share books every day.

We know how to employ conflict resolution and use the Peace Table.We know how to make connections and see how to they help us understand more.

We painted self-portraits, created our classroom promise and see ourselves reflected in all we do.

We use iPads!  We know how to record fluency snapshots, make a podcast and take a short video.

We’ve learned about sound, made instruments and recorded our first “single” as a class.

We can identify and use nonfiction features and published our first nonfiction feature and purpose books.

We know how to gather data and make a graph.

We know how to turn and talk to share our thinking in order to learn and understand more!

We’ve learned how to work hard and have fun!

Amazing!  All that great learning in 23 days!  It’s thrilling to think what we may accomplish by the end of the school year.  I am so proud of my students and the great gains they have made thus far.  I’m happy to take the opportunity to think back and carefully look at all that we have done.   I can’t wait to see what wonderful learning unfolds in the next five weeks!

About Kristin

Kristin Ziemke has spent her career teaching and learning from children in both urban and suburban school districts. A first grade teacher in Chicago, Kristin engages students in authentic learning experiences where reading, thinking, collaboration and inquiry are at the heart of the curriculum. Co-author of Connecting Comprehension and Technology, Kristin pairs best practice instruction with digital tools to transform learning in the classroom and beyond. An Apple Distinguished Educator, National Board Certified Teacher and Chicago’s 2013 Tech Innovator of the Year, Kristin seeks opportunities to transform education through technology innovation. She inspires educators around the globe as a staff developer, speaker and writer. To learn more about her work follow her on Twitter @KristinZiemke.
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