This weekend, I will do my best to post all the pictures I've taken of the amazing work my students have done since I last posted. Let me tell you, if you have a student in one of my classes, be ready to see them grow. Of course, I want them to grow academically. Reading and writing well is key to being a good communicator which is also a key to success in life! I also hope, though, that your child grows in other areas of their life. One of my favorite things about teaching Language Arts is we have such a unique opportunity to dig into life as we work on academics. Our lives are springboards for writing and we can learn so much from the lives of others as we read. The conversations that flow from both are already firing up in Room 212 and I wish you could see it happening for yourself.
Our students are developing their own Action Plans. What's an Action Plan? Action plans are developed by groups of students who are passionate about solving real world problems they've identified on their own. The problems they see fall under our unit's theme "Be the Difference." They're identifying areas where they can make a difference and they're DOING IT. Their ideas are amazing and I cannot wait to see their final products. I hope YOU are interested in seeing their final products and presentations, too, because everyone is invited to our Share Fair which is tentatively scheduled for September 4th.
Whenever I tell people what I do, it's not uncommon for those people to tell me how lazy teenagers are nowadays. Honestly, the students I work with can do amazing things when they put their minds to it and I cannot wait to see them do that this year in class.
The other ELA teachers and I are also so encouraged by the reading being done by our students. We're running Reading Workshop this year which is highly focused on students choosing their own books to read. We want our kids to become lifelong readers and we want them to see how important reading is to their success. Today was our 11th day of school and we've already got students finishing books and moving on to others; we've got some students who are self-proclaimed "non-readers" READING; and we've got students discussing the process of choosing their books with us. One-on-one. And I love it. I love seeing their faces in the morning when they come to me, raising their book in the air, and saying, "Mrs. Simmons, this is THE BEST book." Granted, not all students are to this point yet, BUT they're getting there. We've also started a hashtag on twitter #CCMSRead and we've had 6...yes 6!...young adult authors tweet back with our students about their reading. A fire is being lit and it's the coolest thing to sit back and watch.
Again, I'll post pictures soon. I want you to know that I am PROUD to have these kids with me this year and I know we will all grow from working together.
Until next time - find some time to READ and WRITE!