The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

The Diamonds in the Rough

Today was not the greatest of days for my class, nor was it the worst. It was just one of many days that will go down as being just another day at school.

I wish that this wasn’t the case, though.

I wish that every day would be remembered as an amazing, awesome, wonderful, fantastic day full of engaging discussions and insightful discoveries.

I may be asking for a bit much. Especially of fourth graders. But then again, maybe I’m not.

After all, I had some great experiences today:

The girl in my class who reportedly never spoke to her teacher once last year has spoken on three separate occasions now. Everyone in the class is supportive of her, and I hope that the engagement she has with others when working in small groups will be transferred to the class as a whole.

A group of girls have nearly completed the science report that we started earlier this week, but I am expecting to see them add a few more details to their tri-fold poster display before the reports are officially due a week from tomorrow.

Several of the boys in the class who can be a tad aggressive when playing games were incredibly non-aggressive while we played “Silent Ball” for the first time. (We did this because the gym was not ready for us when it was time for P.E. and the class said it was too cold to go outside.)

After a very rough morning and early afternoon, I suddenly had nearly everyone in the class focused on our math lesson about the commutative, associative, and zero properties of addition. I made the point that math is pretty much all about addition and subtraction and higher mathematics is essentially finding more convenient, efficient ways to do these basic operations. I am sure that some mathematician will disagree, but I am convinced that addition and subtraction are much more complex than we generally believe.

Tomorrow, of course, is Friday, and it is also Constitution Day, so the end of the week is going to be wrapped up fairly quickly. I hope that my Constitution Day plans work out well, and we do have a meaningful discussion in class that will result in what I am hoping will be an awesome classroom project.

But enough hints about tomorrow. It is time for dinner!

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