Cris and I wrapped up our final LitLab group this week at home in Commerce City, Colorado with our teachers from Adams City High and Middle schools. Lindsay and Cassie, two high school English teachers, visited Marianne’s middle school science classroom and wrote this letter, from the perspective of a student in her classroom. Check out how seamlessly they label best practice and tie it to the research. I’m in awe of their risk taking and growth this year and feel so thankful to work with such creative, inspiring professionals.
Dear Miss Marianne,
Okay, so I am not that passionate about the universe because I’d rather chat with my friends or listen to music and do weird hand gyrations. BUT I must admit, your enthusiasm about science always gets me going. How much we read and write in your class and how much you value my thinking often surprises me. I annotate more in this class than in my Language Arts class! Now that rocks my universe.
Your simple learning target about describing the universe is very accessible. The different levels of text and the amount of choice you gave us allowed us to pick what we really wanted to read and could actually read. Having the books in full color allowed us the opportunity to see what jazzes you up so much about the universe! Thanks so much! You really gave us the opportunity to see how you think before we have to start our own thinking, which Tovani says is definitely the way to go.
We also had a lot of freedom to work at our own pace and get out of the reading whatever we wanted to about space, which Daniel Pink pushes for. Then, we got the chance to talk to our peers about what we found really cool, which helped me to solidify my thinking about space. I know I am getting smarter through talking.
I can tell that you really care about me as a learner and as a person, which is a big deal in my teenage life. Bob Sullo would say that your relationships with us are one of the most important aspects of us being successful in school, so thank you very much! I know that you respect students and that you love your job. Things are already tough for us seeing as how we are going into high school next year, so it means a ton that you care so much and have such love for your job.
Thanks again for being awesome!
Music Loving Hand Gyration Guy
AKA Cassie and Lindsay