Monday, October 20, 2014

Important


When I started thinking about Personalized Learning last year I had no idea how amazing it was going to be.  Everyday I find myself thinking wow, this is incredible. In fact, I found myself with tears in my eyes last Friday afternoon in my classroom.  The tears came after a week where I had multiple kids not only meet their goals, but double their letter goals, Double!  I had kids come up to me asking if they could work on their goals not only during choice time, but also during their snack.  After a week when one child who came into kindergarten knowing just three sounds meet her goal of 12 then reset her goal for 20, because she wanted to work hard to “be advanced.”  She then worked so hard this week she met that goal and reset her goal to learn 30 letter sounds because she didn't want to stop at 26.  After a week when one child saw another child try to meet their goal and miss it by just one letter and the observing child came over, gave him a pat on the back and said, “keep working hard I know you can do it, I’m proud of you.”  The tears came after a Friday afternoon when Carrie excitedly came into my room because she couldn't wait to tell me about a child in her room who made HUGE gains and blew her goals away.  The tears came as I watched a 5-year-old come skipping over to a chair by me because he was so excited, yes excited, to take a test and show me what he could do.  He sat in the chair bouncing and smiling as he said every single lowercase letter and then proceeded to say every single letter sound including sh, ch, and th.  I could not help myself as I watched him because he was so unbelievable confident in himself, he knew the expectations, knew his goals, knew he had been working hard, and knew he could do it.  Then the tears escaped when I asked him to get his iPad so I could see his goal because, I was sure he had just crushed it.  He opened his iPad and I could not find the icon for the Slides App.  He said, “Miss Arnold it is important so I put it down here,” pointing at the tray on the bottom of the iPad screen.  Yup, that statement on top of a week full of affirmations that this is truly what my classroom needs sent a tear down my cheek.  This child’s recognition that his goals are, “important.”