Dear Chimacum Community:
This will likely be my last update before school starts again in the fall. The summer will include budget adoption, grant writing, new kindergartners, and hiring remaining staff.
With that in mind, I want to share some comments from a select group of fifth graders I recently conversed with about what it’s like getting ready for middle school. I enjoyed each moment! Each child had grown in their understanding and articulation of how their education matters.
My first question was to learn about how reading and math were progressing. Students expressed great progress and were modest about how they were excelling in each subject. I also noticed a considerable understanding among students about who was outstanding in each subject.
The units in social studies were savored. The topics were around the Revolutionary War. History was real to these students – The Quarter Act, The Declaration of Independence, and characters involved were familiar to students. Refreshing indeed.
I wanted to hear more about literacy development. Students know their reading levels, had received feedback from MAP, predicted story lines, and were able to write effectively on a wide list of writing applications.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of the conversation was around Human Growth and Development. The words used to describe instruction in this area were priceless. “It would have been more comfortable if you would sugar coat it a bit” was the most memorable quote.
I asked what behavior was like now that they are pre-teens, well on their way to middle school. More gossip and rumors later in the year.” Kids annoying each other.” Not too many problems were expressed with social media. Facebook seems to have been surpassed with other, more appealing apps. I learned about fidget spinners ordered easily from Amazon.
Summer plans including building a boat in the front yard, some local tribal activities, camping with Grandpa, and fun on the Fourth of July.
Do you remember middle school? It was described to me as weird – going from the oldest in the elementary school to the youngest. Scary but excited. Nervous. “Siblings tell you things.” One said, “I heard it was fun but I don’t buy it.” They really wanted a tour of the new school. They spoke highly of the counselor who informed them of electives.
When I asked if they thought about driving a car, they knew in a short time cars would be “completely different.” We talked about self-driving cars, which was met with some resistance. “What if it had a malfunction and you crash?”
As for pets, one student almost got a bunny.
Have a safe and enjoyable summer.