An Edujourney can take you across the hall or across the country. My trip is taking me to Edgecomb, ME in the middle of February. Can you say, "Snow." This blog will document my professional growth as I intern at Nancie Atwell's Center for Teaching and Learning.
Helene Coffin teaches Kindergarten at CTL. Again, seeing a book in action, then speaking to the author/teacher leaves a deep tread in your soul.
Excerpt from my journal during the first morning meeting experience at CTL. All staff and students singing “Long Road to Freedom” with guitar accompaniment.
"Angelic––Through the window I picture animals gathering outside to hear the honest voices of children singing. Trees in the background/snow covered hills/blue sky/scattered clouds. I am deeply moved.”
Students go through a rigorous gathering of portfolio items. Pictures, stories, poems, experiments, reflections, self-assessments, peer assessments, word studies, art, you name it, it’s in there. Portfolio puts grades to shame. It’s intricate and personal, just like the school.
Making Believe on Paper
I had the privileged opportunity to shadow Ted DeMille for part of my time at CTL. He’s a wonderful story teller and inspiration to his students and his colleagues. It’s amazing to read a book about how to teach kids to write, see the author actually do it with real kids in a real school, and then talk to him about it. No, it’s totally amazing.
The kids go sledding at recess.
Sticking to the apprenticeship model, the art teacher, Mary Beth Owens, is also a children’s book Illustrator. She has illustrated many children’s books. Ted read “Prize in the Snow” to his class. It almost brought him to tears.
The Writing Room is shared by the 1/2 and the 3/4 classes. There are a few systems in place that make the room run smoothly. Folders, sketch books, computers, etc… Teachers record a writing status every day and then get into deeper conferences.
This is the Science/Math room. CTL really teaches for deeper understanding in Science with a whole school (yes, whole school) unit (one unit) for the entire year. Yes, one unit for the whole year. This year they are studying Geology/Paleontology. The science units rotate every five years so each student will explore a single science topic for two years in their nine years at CTL. Just imagine how deep you can dive while studying one topic for ten months.
Big K!!! Saw Kindergarten today. 9….yes, 9 students. And yes, it’s full day.
What would you give to see this outside of your classroom window? An arm, maybe?