At Long-View, we work to protect our reading minutes and be sure that literacy instructional time does not go to activities that do not involve “eyes on print.” We protect time for independent reading, and know that explicit and high-level instruction, access to high-interest texts, and volume are crucial.
That being said, there is not enough time for independent reading during the day at school. We hold ambitious goals for daily reading at home….
As the kids arrived on Monday, they noticed a sign in the window: Long-View Micro School Improv Comedy Festival, 12:30 p.m., October 25th @ Fallout Theater.
Only a few had studied improv before, so the learners had a lot to learn before their Thursday show. The week began with a visit from professional improv comedians Jessica Arjet and Kim Roche, who drew three teachers’ names from a hat. Ms. Lyon (the Cookie Monster) was to host a talk show with special guest alien, Mr. Moore, famed for his love of eating. To understand each other, they needed a translator, Ms. Zapalac. The three teachers had planned nothing in advance, and were more than a little nervous as they took the stage and received their instructions, but by the end of the scene, the kids were in stitches, and ready to try it for themselves….
At Long-View, we spend a significant amount of time investing in the learning culture of our school, with particular attention paid to how this translates within our mathematics classrooms. As Harvard educator Dr. Richard Elmore has so often made clear, the “default culture of American instruction” contains “certain robust patterns of instructional practice that are unique to the US and that are highly destructive to higher level student learning.” From our standpoint, these highly destructive instructional patterns are easily observed within American math classrooms and at Long-View we seek to disrupt these and nurture within Long-View math classrooms instructional practices that support high cognitive demand and high levels of learning among all students. This starts with deliberate work cultivating an environment that attends in an intentional manner to attitudes, beliefs, customs, and ways of interacting that resist the “default culture of schooling”….
At Long-View, learners are encouraged to extend their learning beyond the boundaries of the school day—to see their learning as a constant process and embrace it as their own responsibility. This month, all of us in the Long-View community have a special opportunity to do just that, and it’s right down the street: the Texas Book Festival….
I have many fond memories of my childhood, but the ones that are most prevalent, and arguably times when I learned about problem solving and navigating sometimes contentious social situations, are the ones when I engaged in unstructured free play with other kids from the neighborhood. I’m talking hours upon hours of time playing tag, climbing trees (and falling out of them), building forts out of found sticks, and catching frog spawn from the creek with these neighborhood children (not all of which I got along with) until the street lights came on signaling it was time to go home…