Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Room Grows with the Children: Thoughts From an Inconsistent Blogger

The last time I posted (yep, that would be the first week of school back in August), I started a "Setting Up the Classroom Series" of posts. I should know better. Note to self: Never start a series of anything the first month of school and never promise to do more than you know is ridiculously impossible. I will say that you can expect me to blog about the cool things that kids do and the fun literacy work I'm fortunate to be a part of, but it will only get posted on those early mornings with coffee when I put my butt in the chair and just write. Here's to more mornings like this!

It's the end of September, and I'm reflecting on my six weeks with a group of sixth graders...a group that I will have to give back to their real teacher on October 17th. It's been a gift and a pleasure to teach and learn with these kids over the past weeks. It's been especially fun to see the room (and their writing and reading) grow right before my eyes.

I've found that children only become invested in the work we ask them to do when it's meaningful, connected to their lives outside school, and co-created with them. As we finish our first writing study, we look forward to sharing our work and commenting on the work of the writers in Tony Keefer's fourth grade class in Ohio. Check out their class website and give these young writers a new audience!

Below you'll find photos of our classroom anchor charts and kids working--a visual representation of their thinking and growth over these past six weeks.

As my friend and principal, Phyllis Faust says,
To the Possibilities of This New Day.....


  1. AM,
    The pics of the space you have co-created with your students are wonderful. I am looking forward to the next few weeks of sharing and learning with you and your classes. My kiddoes will be very excited to see this.
    Take care,

  2. Ann Marie,
    Love this space! As I look at the pictures and around the room, it is so obvious what an indelible mark you have made on these students' lives! Thanks for sharing! Will follow the collaboration with Tony with great interest. I know it will be wonderful!

  3. Ann Marie,
    What a wonderful space to write in. Thanks for this post.