Protected in a corner of each student’s desk, a white two-inch binder rests, eagerly awaiting its next writing entry, poem or assignment. All writing is neatly organized chronologically in order to observe and analyze growth over time. How have I progressed as a reader, a writer, a mathematician, a scientist, a historian, a learner, a human being? It is imperative that students reflect on what they are doing, assess their strengths and weaknesses and make goals to improve.
Looking in the mirror and asking, “What do I see?” is necessary in stimulating the social-emotional perspective of our learning. The responses to this question, when compared to the first day of school, show that students are beginning to look more closely inside themselves to evaluate who they are, where they are going and what they want to be. This shift will significantly impact their academic achievement as they move through the year. It will also affect how they see the world and themselves interacting with others in this world.
What do I see?
“I see a sparkle in my eye. I see a beautiful girl shining in a bright light. I feel optimism floating through the sweet air.” Linda
“I see a girl who is willing to take risks.” Danielle
“I see a girl who is not a regular girl anymore.” Destiny
“I see a beautiful girl who is tenacious. I see energy passing through me.” Lauryn
“I can see my future trying to go on.” Ashley
“I see a young boy growing up to be a mature grown up.” Adrian
“I see a girl who is not afraid to challenge herself to the end.” Emmah
“I see open-minded.” Philip
On November 11, parents attended student led conferences to learn the progress of their children. In preparation, every child highlighted important information, wrote extensive notes on “post its” to indicate specific pieces of work to share and drafted an agenda to follow during the conference. I stepped back and watched as each student stepped forward, taking on the responsibility of reporting his own progress.
Student Goals for Second Quarter
“My behavior skills have been off a lot, but now they need to be on for the rest of the year. As stage manager, I got to be on the same track as the class.”
“I need to be fluent in reading.”
“I need to not say I can’t do it.”
“I need to work on reading carefully.”
“I want to write up to four pages without making the reader fall asleep.”
“I want to do everything on the protocol.”
“Being nice to my classmates when they are mean to me.”
“Explaining my thinking”
“Not being distracted”
Angel, Samantha and Sofia’s conferences