The best way to describe today would be to say that it was a kaleidoscope of events. Not unlike the workings of a kaleidoscope, with a simple turn (of phrase, in this case) something new and unexpected appeared. There was an interplay of lights, colours and reflection (both literal and figurative)
I started my day doing something that feeds my never-ending learner’s appetite. With a small group of trusted, respected colleagues we spent some dedicated time in conversation and reflection about school improvement and our own learning associated with the new SIPSAW. As we worked through the process, it was like turning of the tube in a kaleidoscope as each new idea and concept would create a different possibility. The structure of the mirrors ( the intended outcome) was the constant, but the pattern would be modified each time we brought more clarity to our thinking. I can’t help but wonder if each of us walked away with a different mosaic of thought, as our initial thinking was undoubtedly impacted by the groups’ prompting and provoking.
Upon returning to the school this afternoon, there was a whirlwind of activity and opportunity. We are currently in the process of re-assessing our K2 students with an oral addition question to determine if they have mastered automaticity or if they have a bank of strategies to use. We are videoing their responses for the Kindergarten team to review on Monday at our staff meeting. I had 3 more students to work with today. Two of the students I know quite well as their K1 year was a challenging time for them. One has a diagnosis of ASD, but her K team has worked miracles and the other student cried for most of her first year with us. So as I asked them the question, they both took some time, but used a strategy to arrive at the correct answer. I couldn’t help but wonder what patterns they see as they worked towards their response. For me, the mosaic was a beautiful one of success and celebration.
As I made my way back to the office, there were a couple of intermediate girls waiting for me. We needed to embark on another conversation about being kind ~ especially in the online world. It seems as if we continue to turn the tube on this conversation, but the mosaic stays the same. It’s as if the mirrors are warped and the reflection isn’t working. But today, I think that we actually made some progress. There was some genuine reflection in connection to our conversation. I chuckled to myself at the end of the conversation when one of the girls said, “You should write a book”
The day continued with a few more conversations about being kind on the playground and responding to a couple of emails.
Then, once the students were safely on their way home and the buses had pulled out of the driveway, Heather Elliott, one of our grade 1 teachers, was waiting to share her new purchase, an Abacus ~ thanks to Tracey White and the Math AQ course, and how her students were using it to determine doubles. Heather had recalled a comment I had made a few weeks ago about the importance of doubles. She said that it caused her to stop and think and now with the Abacus, some of her students can quickly determine halves and doubles. Her fingers flew over the math tool, navigating the beads from left to right. It was probably at that moment that the idea of a kaleidoscope popped into my mind.
Those moments with our SAC crew, (which occur daily and some days multiple times) when they are so excited about something they can’t wait to come and share are magical ~ much like the beautiful mosaics created by turning the tube on the kaleidoscope. Those moments are filled with reflection (about their practice, their students, their learning environments, etc.). They light up as they share and each experience is different and unique ~ yet always breathtaking.
As the sun sets on this mosaic marvelous day, I can’t help but wonder who’s turning the tube? How are my actions influencing those moments?
Come write with me….