We’ve got twelve full days left this year (our last school day is only two hours long, for some unknown reason). I’m tired (it doesn’t help that we’re trying to get our house packed up and prepped to go on the market soon) and struggling to be patient and recognize all that is going well. I’m really good at noticing all the things my kiddos still can’t (or suddenly can’t even though they could a week ago!) do. It’s not good.
So, here are some things my kiddos are doing really well (as a reminder to myself):
– using resources to spell words correctly: our word wall, picture dictionaries, other books, writing hanging up around our room – this is happening across the board. Kids’ writing is so much clearer now than it was, even just in the winter, partly because they’ve got this skill down.
– great stamina for independent reading – at the beginning of the year, we could barely read for five minutes without getting distracted. Now we can, as a whole class, read for fifteen or twenty minutes quietly and with total focus. We do this right after morning meeting and it’s such a great start to our day.
– listening to each other and sharing thoughts – they will start their ideas with, “I agree with ______ because” or “I disagree with _______” because. Every time they do it I am thrilled because it means they listened and thought about what others said.
– they ask great questions – I’m not sure this is a new thing, first graders tend to ask great questions. I just love to hear them.
– I’m not seeing a lot of tattling. Kiddos solve the little problems themselves. We’ve worked hard this year to be sure everyone can advocate for themselves rather than immediately turn to someone else for help. We’ve also worked on assuming positive intentions, not jumping to the conclusion that another person was trying to hurt you by what they did or said. Most of the time, kids are hurt, physically or emotionally, by accident. When they are willing and able to self-advocate and speak for themselves, they often not only solve the immediate problem but also learn from each other.
When I can step back and notice how amazing my kiddos are, I feel so lucky to do what I do everyday. I set a high bar (I’m not convinced it’s always intentional) and the bar keeps going up as kids meet it. So I lose sight of how far they’ve come and how amazing they truly are. They are brilliant and I learn so much from them.