Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom

This week we hosted four student teachers from Simon Fraser University – two on Tuesday and Wednesday and two more on Thursday and Friday. These visits were a part of a week of observations in a variety of classroom settings. I celebrate that my students were so open and welcoming and that we were all able to do some learning and reflecting together.

Always our room is a busy, full speed ahead place but at the end of the week, what was “learned”? I think we managed to pass on a few snippets of wisdom. I love that my students can be teachers. Miriam and I learn from them everyday. This week, I think they gave these SFU students lots to think about.

A few highlights:

Busy, active, exciting – these things need to happen everyday. But, so does calm. Things we do: quiet time, mindful breathing, gratitude circles, an afternoon walk and quiet, reflective play. It can be simple. Buttons, cardboard, markers = 10 minutes of magic.

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

Have a classroom full of books and lots of time to read them. Every day. Reading is quiet and solitary and social and joyous. Make time for all of it.

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

Great practice time for anything might involve “equipment” beyond a pencil. The handing out and collection of “stuff” needs to be well organized and logical. Let all of that process be smooth, and practice time can look like this.

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

Let students collaborate and communicate while they learn. Talk, support, ask questions. And then, celebrate!

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

Don’t be afraid to tackle subjects and things that are emotional. We shared a sad video connected to a picture book that we read this week: Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Yes, we had a few tears but we also had some great conversations. The resulting writing was powerful:

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

Invite others in to share their expertise. Our Let’s Talk Science volunteers visited Friday morning for their first visit of the year. We learned about the three states of matter and that when a solid becomes a gas, it is called sublimation. How? Well, there were lots of bubbles, coloured water and . . . dry ice! Fun and fully hands on.

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

The big tip here? Let the “experts” do their thing and the kids have fun and learn lots. The classroom teacher’s role? Support, management, enthusiasm. Help it all go smoothly so everyone wants to do it again!

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

And of course, always be prepared. Have everything you need. Be safe. Look like you mean it.

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

There were some other tidbits I passed on – things about paper (and aversions to it), creative interpretations of the IRPs and the power of clicky shoes. But it was the students doing what they do best that allowed the most powerful “teaching” to happen. And this is what I celebrate this week!

celebrate-link-up

Thank you also to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I love how being a part of this #celebratelu community reminds us weekly to look for the positive and take some time for gratitude.

14 thoughts on “Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom

  1. Absolutely, let the students ‘be’ & the teachers who observe closely will learn. Love “Support, management, enthusiasm.” And always love your pictures, Carrie. Have a happy weekend!

  2. You and your students show us how learning is done. So much fun and love here! I love the quiet and reflective moments you encourage that balance out all of that energy. Kids need to learn how to find that quiet space. I especially love the “reflective play.” I’m wondering how that looks. Play that is reflective or reflection on their play?

    • When I used that term I mean, play where there is talk around the activities they choose to engage in – in some senses holding a mirror up to choices from the previous day and thinking about how things went, what might have been stressful, what might have been successful. I like having these conversations with the children so they learn how to be self-reflective about things they do and make choices that better meet their needs and moods. All part of self-regulation and organizing our days.

  3. I like the mixture of active/busy and quiet/mindful. At first this may seem like a simple list with pictures but to achieve this kind of balance it takes time, knowledge, experience and lots of love.

  4. I just love seeing glimpses into your classroom – the kids look so happy and engaged. Like Terje said – active/busy, quite/mindful – a combination so rich in learning and accomplished by a master teacher!!

  5. I love those moments of calm you’re careful to include. So important to have time to reflect, think, let learning settle. Wonderful that student teachers can come observe your room and learn from your students! “Support, management, enthusiasm”–yes, yes! I think if we’re serious about student learning, that’s what teachers need to be doing in the classroom.

  6. What a wonderful week in your classroom. Thanks for the pics. I love the focus finding the balance between active/busy/exciting and calm/quiet/reflective. Love the cardboard, buttons, and markers. Reminds me of how I loved to play with my grandmother’s button jar!

    • Something so soothing and interesting in collections like these – buttons, shells, sea glass etc. Many of these buttons came from my mother and mother-in-law – I appreciated the donation!

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