Dear Spectrum Families and Friends,
As I was thinking of what to write this week, knowing I want to update our Go Fund Me efforts, thinking about the Fun Run (date TBA) and grandparents/grandfriends appreciation, and graduation (date TBA), and fun stuff for spring, and all the details to manage and arrange for closing one year and planning the next (sorry, principal job description 101), I noticed my brainstorm list had a lot of words that begin with the letters gr. This got me thinking, and lifelong learner that I am, I did a web search on “positive words that begin with the letters gr”.
Well, wowza! The Free Dictionary arranges words by the number of letters (not all positive words), but what a great vocabulary builder for me. I won’t put you through the grueling tedium of my poetic efforts in this note, but it is tempting!
How far search engines have come from the days you had to put search terms in quotes, use plus and minus signs, include the word “and” or “not”.
Speaking of which, Douglas and I reviewed internet searches with our Middle Schoolers this week, as they embark on finding reliable sources on Science topics of their choosing and interest. Aubrey is integrating this with literacy efforts of analyzing informational text and representing learned concepts in a variety of ways. (Aubrey has them interact with different kinds of texts and literacy tasks all the time. I am amazed at the Wisdom Books the students are writing.) Students are intentionally applying skills of self-direction and learning autonomy through six steps of goal setting, exploring their current understanding and experience of topics, researching, practicing, relating the content and skills to their own lives, and reflecting on who they are as learners and how to keep improving. I took a video of them at work today. I felt somewhat not needed as a teacher. What a delight to see this independence, work ethic, and learning culture in Middle School. It would not be grandiose to say this is remarkable, and I am very grateful for the work that has made it happen.
Dr. Mary Beth Cunat
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