Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How's That Working For You?

 At the beginning of the school year, I did a blog on community in the classroom. In August, I talked about using various read-alouds to build a community. By now, teachers should know their students very well. They probably have been collecting all kinds of data and have talked to parents about how the students are doing in their academic lives. Another way teachers should be aware of their children is a more personal, individual way.  So, how well do you know your students?
In the book Sea of Faces by Donald H. Graves, he asks the teachers to make a list of their students. Next to each of the names, he tells them to put one thing they know about these children.  Not the data or academic information your grade book tells. Instead, what is something you know about that child's life?  Try it!  Since it is December, you should know something about each child.
Another book that shows the growth of students and  how they change with the great teaching and community the classroom brings is Writing Through Childhood by Shelly Harwayne. I love the cover of this book because it shows the students as kindergarten students and then again as fifth graders. She talks about how to tap into the interests and attitudes the children bring into the writing workshop.

Do you know your childrens' goals? What is their goal in writing? What is their goal in reading? What are they working on right now? Do they have dreams for the future? What do they see themselves doing as adults? How well DO you  know your students?

As I was thinking of former students in my long career, I thought of where they were as seven-year-olds and where they are now. Here are a few of them!

Laurie teaches in Las Vegas
Justin teaches in Washington D.C. & is founder of Refugees Read, Inc

Rachel is in marketing in San Antonio


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