Another week has gone by and the students here have yet again surprised me with their wisdom and perseverance! The fall edition of the Berkeley Academy newspaper is underway and the Young Leader 3rd and 4th graders are learning more each week about how to care for each other and work as a team.
I mentioned in my previous post regarding the Newspaper class that some students seemed apprehensive of being able to write about a topic of their choosing. While they did eventually embrace the opportunity, some students learned last week that writing something you chose to write can still be difficult! Students are learning through experience what it means to write for an audience and revising based on questions their potential readers may ask them. Others are learning to cooperate with each other in order to determine who can write about which subject. For instance, many of the boys in our group wanted to write about Pokémon, so they began discussing with each other who would write about Pokémon Go, who would write about the trading card game, etc. It has been great watching the students build this understanding of necessary organization and audience awareness through supported practice.
As for our Young Leaders, last week presented challenges in working as a team. We started off the class by signing cards for World Vision students that had written to us in the past. The students were given a pen and told to pass the cards along, making sure everyone got a chance to sign. However, as cards were being passed around I noticed some frustration among the students. To intervene, I had the students sit in a semi-circle in front of me and discuss how to show others respect before they stated three nice things about the person sitting next to them. While the students still have some practice to go through before they can be a strong, understanding team, some headway was made in understanding others and respecting the talents each one brings to the group. On Friday, 10/7/16, the Young Leaders group will be meeting for Book Club as we continue reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The book presents numerous opportunities for discussions of respect in the next section, so I plan to continue the discussion we started last week by using the book as a guide.
As we continue in this term I look forward to seeing the Newspaper students develop as confident writers who are aware of their audience and the Young Leaders learn more about respecting each other and themselves.