Tuesday marked our first day back to school in the New Year. Students returned Tuesday morning armed with their winter reading packets, having had the opportunity to choose books based on their Lexile levels prior to break and complete response questions. Some of their options included Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl, Elie Wiesel's Night and James McBridge's The Color of Water. Reading over some of their responses so far has been wonderful; having the chance to see how students were thinking about their novels and applying much of what we've been learning to process them is really great. Hearing them exclaim how much they loved their novels (especially those who read The Color of Water) had to be one of my brightest moments this week.
To kick things off this year, I reflected long and hard on how students not only performed last semester, but how they felt about what they were doing. Having had the opportunity to collaborate with fellow staff and some pretty awesome coaches, we've switched things up a bit in an attempt to become more critical and reflective. In the coming weeks, we'll be reading Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting, one of my all-time favorite fifth-grade novels. This week, students have been working on considering the concept of living forever and developing their own stance on the question "Is living forever a blessing or a curse?" Next week, we'll be examining outside sources and how others feel about this matter before moving into our novel.
I look forward to sharing more, as do the students -- they had the chance to check the website out this week and are excited to make their own contributions :)