Saturday, May 21, 2016

Seeing the Growth {Celebrate this Week 5-21-16}

The school year is quickly coming to a close and like many teachers, I find myself reflecting on how much my students have grown this year.

Sure, there are the physical changes.  A few weeks ago we received our class picture, the one with everyone's photo from the beginning of the year. It was incredible to see how much everyone had changed. It was like they came in as little kids and are going out as almost teenagers.

Because I will be looping with this class and will see them back in September, I am especially interested in seeing how far they've come in their learning over the course of this year because it will help us set our goals for next year.

I found myself thinking about this during our writing class yesterday.  It was Friday, the weather was beautiful, and the looming full moon was making everyone a little wiggly, so we took our writing class outside.  We settled into the grassy side of the school and began our notebooking.

Being a bit sneaky, I set the timer on my phone for 20 minutes instead of our usual 10 minutes, just to see what would happen.

There wasn't much to see, other than writers hard at work the entire time.

When my timer went off, I called the group back together. About half of my students continued writing, carefully finishing their last words.

We gathered in a circle to share. As we went around the circle, I smiled at the variety of writing that took place -- the risks that some of my writers were now taking that seemed impossible just nine months ago. Yesterday, we had joke writers, poets, listers, memoirists, mystery writers and storytellers all offer up their words to our group.

Nine months ago, there would have been many blank pages.

Nine months ago, there would have been writers afraid to share their words.

Nine months ago, there would have been groans and moans and pained expressions as we set to our work of writing.

Yesterday, it was clear that much has changed over the past nine months.

For that, I celebrate.


  1. Why don't notice those little steps of growth from day-to-day it's amazing how much change takes place over a year. Definitely a reason to celebrate! And how fun, looping with your students! Enjoy you those last few days with your kiddos! ~Amy

  2. I love this reminder to think about the changes and growth in students. It is so easy to get bogged down by what you might have done that didn't get done (at least for me). I appreciate the reminder to slow down and notice what my students are doing that they would not have done nine months ago. And lucky you to be looping with your kiddos. I loved it when I did that years ago.

  3. Great job teacher! I hear your pride in your students and your sense of fulfillment in their progress.

  4. Looking back is valuable both for the teacher and the students. The before and now reflections bring smiles for sure.

  5. Love your little 'test' of time, Jennifer. How great that you can remember the beginnings, and celebrate this wonderful growth. Happy times, and just great to think that you'll have them all again!

  6. Nine months. It's the same time to start a life in pregnancy. Nine months, they have truly been "born" as writers. LOVE the pictures! I love that you get to continue being their teacher next year!

  7. Jennifer, I love hearing about the growth of students. The photos of your students are evidence of this. It is wonderful to see engaged learners in actions.

  8. This is a beautiful reflection of growth in writers. I'm so glad I lingered with your words today.


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