Class Update Number 1

A few weeks ago I wrote about my venture to hand over the learning decisions in my classroom to my students. I promised I would provide an update so here is my first update. At this point in time, students have determined their syllabus and learning activities based on the Language Arts standards required by our district. Here is a snap shot of what my room looked like today:

• I was sitting in front meeting with three young ladies who formed a book club. We were discussing how theme and mood were impacting their novel. They even shared their journals they created to keep track of their reading and discussions.

• Two students were working on a vocabulary workbook (I know, I know, not a fan of the workbook either!) that looked at word parts and how words are created.

• Five boys were sitting in the back working on a presentation about perspective in literature based on a novel study they are working on. Each group member was working a different novel in a series and how perspectives changed largely based on character development.

• Eight individual students were working on research for expository papers on topics of their choice. There is a wide range of topics from Al Capone’s impact on Chicago to the role of Octopus in marine environments.

• Another group of four students created a book club and were discussing author’s style and dialogue. They are still working on how they want to demonstrate their conversations in a presentation or small group discussion with me.

Another thing you would notice is the back wall of my room that has a large calendar on it. Students are signing up for meetings with me to discuss progress as well as address specific standards. At this point, it is going well and I am hopeful the motivation will stay up when we return from spring break!

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