My fifth-graders’ elementary school life is coming to an end.
I hear, “why can’t school be over?” and the worried corollary, “I don’t want to go.”This is the predicament of a culminating class.
I hear, “were not little kids anymore,” said with a tinge of sadness. They know this is the end of a chapter in their lives. While all may not be able to articulate it, they all feel it.
I want them to reflect on and celebrate all that they have done and become. For most eleven-year-olds, this is not a natural act. They need some assistance.
So, this week we talked about reading.
One by one.
We started with a running record as an easy way to look at strengths and set goals.
I talk about what they do well as a reader and what they can work on next.
We speak of the tricky things they need to be on the look out for and what they can do to work out those difficult places.
We talk about summer reading plans. (when, what, how, how much)
I congratulate them.
Tell them, I am proud of the readers they have become.
Tell them, they are ready.
And still, at the end of these conferences, students often ask, “Did I pass?”
I say, pass what? Oh, the running record?
(Maybe we shouldn’t have started our conversation that way.)
I understand. That’s the nature of assessment. Pass or fail. They want to know.
This is what I know about every one of my students:
They can find books they love.
They can search for articles to understand their world.
They can express their thinking in writing.
Every student in my classroom is a literate human.
Every one of my students, no matter who they are or where they come from,
have received reading instruction and books to take home.
Every day everyone reads, everyone learns.
Every day, over the past six years, 1,080 days of school,
my students have gotten reading love.
This week I celebrate the power of public schooling, books, and my school community that make it possible for everyone to be a literate human.
Thank you, Ruth, for your weekly celebration link up at Ruth Ayers Writes. Read other celebrations
Read other celebrations here.