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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Letters to the President

Pam and I haven't posted for about a month. Wow. The past several weeks have been a whorl wind of activity in my classroom. Everyday I feel like I make a thousand small decisions. We've set routines, established rules, and opened up communication. Just as I feel like I've accomplished everything I've set out to do to set up my learning environment, I start changing things, and take things apart. I rearrange reading groups. I take everything off a wall. I change rules. Instead of telling students to "put their heads together and talk about it" I tell them to work silently and raise their hand. Things are always changing in my class, and I wonder if this is one of the reasons why teachers LOVE teaching--because we are always learning and growing. (Yes, it sounds so cliché but I'm not just saying it, I've been FEELING it to be true.)

My students learned how to write friendly letters a few weeks ago. Their concerns and their personal stories reflect their social and economic background. Their words have many layers of meaning. I did a few social justice lessons, where we discussed the question, "Is life fair?" After that we talked about the First Amendment, the Freedom to have Free Speech, and we decided to write to the President of the United States with our concerns. I've been working on my own personal letter to the president, and plan to send off the manilla envelope tomorrow. We watched a Youtube video that showed the president reading and responding to 10 letters everyday. Let's hope they make it!


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