Yesterday was just one of those days. My post was entitled, Empty. Maybe it was because I had the task of planning a faculty meeting around test prep and didn’t get to spend much time with kids. Maybe it was because there were too many questions on my mind that felt too big, too unanswerable. Or maybe it was just one of those days.
Today, I was skeptical. Would the empty feeling linger or would I be able to pull myself out of the rut. Luckily, the day got too busy that I didn’t have time to wallow in my blue mood. After a refreshing and uplifting grade level meeting with our fourth grade team, they booked me to pilot some test prep lessons in their classrooms, filling my otherwise empty schedule on the last day of parent teacher conferences.
We combined classes and I had the task of delivering a fun and playful test prep lesson based on some work we saw during our recent TC staff development day. You may be thinking, fun and playful and test prep in the same sentence? It was every ounce of that. We used an engaging video as our text and kids worked in teams to determine themes and traits and then to brainstorm supporting details. They weighed and evaluated the evidence and were exposed to high levels of academic and literary language. There was intense thinking work, debate, and revision on the part of all 48 students. There was joy in kids tackling challenging thinking work. There was joy in teachers watching kids tackle challenging thinking work. There was joy in learning.
And then…I got to do again with the other two fourth grade classes.