It would be an understatement to say that I miss our students! I can honestly share that there is an enormous void in my day, as I work away in my office. The halls are empty, the classrooms are silent and the yard (although greening nicely as a result of no one playing on the field) is vacant. There is a feeling of loneliness. Schools in spring are meant to be full of energy, excitement, and effervescent chatter. By this time in the school year, classroom communities are strong and vibrant. They are places where students are comfortable with each. They are full of laughter and full of intentional and dedicated learning activities.
Each day I try my best to fill that emptiness by virtually popping into as many Google Classrooms as possible. Today, as I logged into one of our Grade 5 classes, the students were in the midst of sharing some of their latest writing. I was immediately impressed with so much of what was happening.
- Their courage to share their work with their peers, with at quick “sharing of their screen”
- Their kind and heartfelt compliments that they were exchanging in the Chat
- Their choice of literacy devices; including rich vocabulary
- Their choice of form and format ~ ranging from biography to Pixton
- Their excitement about wanting to share their work with me
One student created a Pixton about a group of friends who follow their dog, Prince through a magic mirror into another land. I readily shared my connection to that story, as it reminded me of C.S. Lewis’, “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”. I reminisced about my days as a Grade 5 teacher and my love of sharing this story with my class, complete with making Turkish Delight (which sometimes turned out as an edible treat and sometimes resembled jelly) and heated debates about the White Witch.
Another student was excited to share their biography of Jeff Kenny, the author of, “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid”. I revealed that I had met Jeff Kenny about seven years ago when I attended a Literacy Conference in New Orleans. Oh, my goodness, the chat feature lit up with so many positive comments. For a fleeting moment, I was a direct link to an author that almost every grade 5 student is aware of and loves their work.
Even though my visit was about 10 minutes in length, the positives and excitement left me smiling and much less lonely for the remainder of the day.
As I do every day, I give props and Kudos to educators are working their magic and making this latest shift to online learning work.
How are you filling the void left my online learning?
Come write with me….