After several years of being in Room 123 for my homeroom, I have moved to Room 120 for this school year. Because of the way we teachers rove from classroom to classroom under the current practices, I spend only a small amount of time in it each day. Since we have started school, there have already been a few times when I have filled out forms or have taken items and have forgotten which homeroom is mine. Ironically, my daughter just started preschool last week, and when we attended the orientation meeting, we were told that her classroom is none other than 120! I suspect that as parents, many of you, like me, have had some concerns about the health and safety of our children learning in person. Many health experts have said that if there are ways to have students in school, the benefits of them learning that way exceed the health risks involved. In addition to that, admit it, you liked having them home for all that time. Sure, their sleep patterns may not have made much sense, and your pantries and refrigerators were empty hours after getting groceries, but one of the few benefits of that period was the additional family time that came from it. That Room 120 coincidence for my daughter and me is a good reminder that we’re still together in some way even as we’re apart. I can assure you that your children are being kept as safe as they possibly can be, and I hope that you’re able to feel that strong sense of connection with your children as we continue to persevere through this.
In Language Arts for both levels, we are right in the middle of working on descriptive writing techniques. We have completed a series of practice activities this week in preparation for our official descriptive writing assignment that will be completed in class next week. Students will be assessed on descriptive techniques as well as proper spelling and grammar. I can’t stress how important it is for them to utilize time in class effectively and to avoid racing through it. Overall products are better when each step is followed. Also, students have begun working on Personal Projects. This is based on a model that the Pixar company uses to motivate their workers. Once a week, they can step away from their assigned work and work on a creative project of their choice. It keeps them motivated and in turn, stimulates more creativity. Students are able to choose a topic of their own and create a research project, creative writing piece, narrative, etc. Once a week, they will be able to work on it. This will be completed by Christmas break. In the past, the best projects have been ones that students were passionate about and looked forward to working on. Even students who normally struggle in class have created very good projects. When it’s all said and done, the work should look like something that has taken several weeks to complete.
Please let me know if you have any questions pertaining to the upcoming week.