For this newsletter, I will break from the traditional relating of subject specific learning to let you know about some of the shifts in our culture of relating to each other and how our learning space and time has transformed in response to student and teacher needs and interests.
Students have settled into a new meeting space, where it feels easier to stay connected as a group. Ask your sprout about how they feel in their new meeting spot.
Purposeful learning (by students and facilitators), through focused lessons, is now happening joyfully in the “laboratory.” In this special area, we have all agreed to enter with the mindset of “dissecting ideas” in order to advance our thinking. Ask your student to describe laboratory.
Students have been trying out some “private” spots in the room – for when they need to be alone or focus. Guess what?! 2 of these special spots are behind the curtain (wee!) Ask your child if s/he has an idea for another personal space that might work for them.
The overall schedule hasn’t changed but how we visualize it on our planning board has. We have arranged our project cards so that the day looks actionable (so we focus on the general, big-picture activities). Every day will be a consistent, predictable routine, so that the students will be confident of the flow of the day. Every day, for each of the learning times, I will note on the planning board which individual or small groups I will meet with in the laboratory to address academic interests/ needs. See what your sprout things about changes to the schedule of the day and what they learned in Lab this week.
Now we know that after every working time, we come back together to reflect, present and debrief. Ask your child if they have presented at a reflection meeting.
During deep learning, specific enrichment activities will be offered in the laboratory. Do you, as a parent, have something you love that you want to share with us? Poetry, chemistry, filmmaking? All topics will be explored.
Our new meeting space is cozy with all of us in it! In this new space, I capitalized on our friendly game of winning and losing at the park when we had a student vs. adults race. That was fun because we all agreed to have “winners” and” losers”, but in the classroom, we all agreed that it doesn’t feel right to have the same concept around student-teacher and student-student interactions related to learning. I shared that my goal is to be a part of a community of learners in which we all, teachers and students, “win” in all circumstances. In order for this to happen, everyone in the community has a right to share their needs and work together to create a culture of everyone’s needs being met. I have been modeling I- messaging for sharing my needs and will continue supporting the students to do the same for themselves. Then we can take those needs and problem solve toward a solution where we have consensus on how we will proceed. This is a process that takes time and as we have begun to commit to this process, we are relating to each other in more trusting, authentic ways. Ask your child what consensus means to them.
Thank you families. Your support and our ongoing dialogue about how to serve our students and the community have paved the way for what is already a transformative and adventurous time at TKG!