Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Reflections

In our 5th grade classroom, we do something called "The Top Ten" every Friday. We reflect on the things that were important to us as a class in the past week. We chart all these ideas, and then prioritize them into a "Top Ten" list that reflects our best from the past week. It gives us shared history as a class.

I've also been reading Katie's (Creative Literacy) posts about her "Friday Four". I've been intrigued as I've read her posts. Her willingness to take a few moments to process some of the major events of her week always makes for interesting reading. I think the concept of looking back and reflecting on what came before is an important activity, so tonight, borrowing from my own class and Katie's Friday Four, I'd like to start my own Friday Reflections.

So with no further ado, welcome to my first Friday Reflections:

1) I met individually with the parents of all 24 of my students this past week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The conversations we had during these conferences were so important. I shared all that I've learned about each child in the past six weeks, and then we started to chart a course together of where we will go from here. What a powerful way to build a community of school, teacher, parent, and child! I have such a fabulous class this year, and this is one more opportunity to learn how to push these students to be even better than they were before. The conferences re-energized me to focus on each student's individual strengths, weaknesses, and plan my workshops to best meet their needs.

2) My father-in-law came to live with us, for at least a month, this past Sunday. Because of a recent surgery he had, he still has trouble swallowing, so there are some dietary adaptations we need to make for him. Watching him during this transitional time, makes me very grateful for the good health I enjoy.

3) My youngest daughter, who is a senior in high school, brought home an order form today for graduation caps, gowns, announcements, etc. Where did the time go?!! I swear it was only yesterday that I saw her playing in her sandbox, learning to walk, running around the house in her walker, swinging on the swing for hours, heading off to kindergarten carrying her Pocohantas book bag, wearing her favorite Little Mermaid dress.

4) My students and I are immersed in the read aloud, The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau. The plot's twists and turns in recent chapters has their full attention. In addition, the movie of the same name opened today in theaters. I showed them the trailer, and we are planning a weekend trip to the movies in 2 weeks to watch the film together. They are so excited about this! I look forward to the prospect of the rich conversations we can have after the movie as we compare the book and movie.

That's all. I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing weekend.


  1. Such great reflections for the week. I love your top ten idea. What a great way to end the week with your kids.

    Your post reminds us all about the importance of taking a few moments to think and reflect.

  2. Lovelovelove the classroom top 10. Might have to borrow.

  3. In all fairness, I have to give credit where credit is due. The Top 10 was a ritual in place before I joined the 5th grade team 4 years ago. So, you're definitely welcome to borrow the idea, but a huge shout-out goes to the fabulous team I joined 4 years ago!!!

  4. Loved this!!!! I am going to have to incorporate the reflection piece into the classroom with my first graders...I feel like I am caught up with you now Karen! GRaduation stuff in October?? woww!