Yesterday a mystery showed up in 211. Five bags of groceries were delivered during 4th period, and though I believed I had some thoughts on whom the mystery provider might be, I was wrong, and I still don’t know who perpetrated this anonymous, generous act of incredible kindness. Because of you, hungry kids will have food for days, and when kids aren’t hungry, they can better focus on their lives and their learning. You just made a huge, immediate and long-term difference in the lives of some kids who will hopefully have an opportunity to give back and pay forward in their own future communities. Kindness is a contagion, an infection, an epidemic with no cure once it grabs hold. Thank you for starting, spreading the bug. I am honored and humbled by your actions, and I am proud to share this community, this home with such a selfless mystery hero. Thank you.
There have also been some other deliveries made that have provided sustenance over the past few days in 211. Last week I pledged that I would create a feedback box for my kiddos, so they could reveal an insider’s view of Project 180, a view that I promised to publish–good, bad, or ugly. Well, the comments have begun to trickle in, and I will proudly publish them on Saturday. However, I wanted to let one out of the box early, for I wanted to show you and the kids that my giving them a voice also means that I am giving them an ear. My ear. I will listen. Yesterday, I listened.
“I love this new system, it makes learning much more fun and relaxed, but I am not the biggest fan of the essay of the week. I love the idea, but it would perhaps be better if they were assigned about mid-week, and we had the weekend to work on it.” –Anonymous
I shared this anonymous comment with all my classes yesterday, seeking additional input on the essay of the week. After establishing that getting rid of the essay was a non-negotiable, I opened it up for discussion, discovering that many kids shared the same sentiment, revealing to me that their weeks are so crammed full that if they could have a weekend, it would make their lives a little less stressful. So, together, we decided that now, instead of the assign-on-Monday-and-collect-on-Friday model we would adopt an assign-on-Friday-and-collect-on-Friday model. Works for me. Works for them. Of course, what I’m still struck by is the fact that though I will take it at anytime with no penalty, the kids still get worked up about getting stuff in on time, which I believe ultimately is a testament to their commitment to their own learning, to their own growth. They know they have the A, but they persist. How can I not be struck by that?
Keeping the A
As I have shared, there is only one possible path to losing the A in 211. The kids’ A’s will turn into P’s (passes) if they and their parents don’t sign and return the incremental progress reports. They don’t have to complete them, but they have to sign them, signifying that they are taking ownership of their learning. And while the progress reports will take various forms over the course of the year, the most common will be the two-week learning logs on which the kids will provide a self-assessment and reflection. Today the kids will complete their first learning logs which are comprised of 15 habits/behaviors of learners, indicating where they are on the scale, supporting their positions with evidence. In addition, the kids will capture three learning experiences from the past few weeks and relate the story for each, revealing the experience’s impact on their growth as learners. They will then share all this with their parents over the weekend and return it to me signed by them and their parents on Monday. Can’t wait to see how this goes. Can’t wait to read their stories. I will share some with you next week.
Wow. What a week. Thank you for your continued support. I am humbled. Happy Friday, all. Have a fantastic weekend.
- That’s not in the Curriculum: Project 180, Day 16
- The Voices Within: Project 180, September 24, 2016