Here is post I posted on my school blog to the parents. I think it is important for us as educators to share in each others success and hopefully just as I was inspired this post will inspire others.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 27, 2010
When I created this blog I had in mind a number of things. First and foremost as a means of open communication between myself and the parents and secondly as a way of sharing with all of you the wonderful things that go on in our classroom. I have encouraged the teachers to email me their successes so that I can post them on the blog as well. I do feel a bit awkward that the first success that is shared happened to come from something I did in my class.
One of the things you often hear about in educational theory is the concept of an engaged learner and how important it is ,and it is very important. The other thing that people need to realize about an engaged classroom is that it could look and seem to be a bit out of control to an outsider. However it is a totally different experience when we see that theory in practice. Today I had such an experience.
I had the fourth and fifth grade today after davening for a half an hour. I decided to do a joint activity. I divided them randomly and put four shorashim ( Hebrew root words) on the board. I told each group to pick two shorashim (root words) and see how many words they could come up with. I told them they could use a siddur ( Prayer book), Chumash (Bible) , words around the room, or their own knowledge. They were all working and about half way into the activity they asked if they could do all the shorashim on the board. I was blown away that they wanted to do more than was necessary completely on their own. Each group came up with over 25 words. I must add there was no reward for winning or other external incentive, other than the joy of learning
They were definitely not quiet nor were they sitting nicely but they were learning and engaged.
The best thing for me as a educator is that other than coming up with the activity I had nothing else to do it with the outcome, it was completely student driven.
My hope is to share many more success stories with you through out the year.