The excitement of writing their uncensored thoughts, reflecting on their learning, asking questions, and anticipating a response became clear as a surprising hush fell over the students on Thursday afternoon, and they wrote vigorously for nearly 35 minutes without interruption. (I had hoped for may 12 minutes at best before intervention was required; it was a pleasant surprise indeed to see them so focused and self-motivated! Who would have thought?!)
Truly, there is nothing more insightful for a teacher than a letter written by her students.
What you intended to teach this week vs. what actually stood out for the kids becomes abundantly clear! So does the priority for each student, vs your own priorities as a teacher! Behold the example transcribed below:
Dear Ms. T
something that a learned was monotremes. There are two a they lay eggs.
Something I AM wondering is are you doing good on your airplane listens. A question is when are we gonna do EQAO test? One thing that war easy for me that was reading. that WAS was the scavenger hunt.
I think I will continue to engage in this exercise each week-to-10 days. In addition to providing an excellent opportunity for sustained reflection, thinking and writing, it also affords me an inimitable opportunity to peer inside the minds of my 20 learners, and structure the next week's lessons accordingly. Not to mention, most of the letters are just so darned funny and cute!