Monday, December 17, 2012

Sandy Hook and Schema Anchor Chart

Today was an emotional day for me and I am sure it was for all of you as well, whether you are teachers or not.  I don't know how to express the sorrow I feel over the loss of these sweet children and their brave caretakers.  However, some of my fellow bloggers shared beautiful thoughts.  I was very encouraged by the words of HeatherJodi, Susan, and Erica.

Going back to school today was hard.  I (foolishly) watched the news before going to work and ended up crying the whole time I walked to school.  At school, we had a somber teacher's meeting to discuss how to help our little ones through this crisis.  Being that we are a K-2 school, the decision was that we should not bring the topic up unless the children did, and then we should comfort, but quickly re-direct them because children this young need the routine to help them cope.  I was fully supportive of this plan, especially because some parents had e-mailed me and told me their children did not know anything at all about the tragedy.  They were concerned that their children would be overly exposed to news at school.  I am guessing that this is the reason why 5 of my students were absent today too.

Anyway, I was thankful not to have any of my students bring up the topic at all today.  It was easier for me to stay composed not having to talk about it.  However, the conversation buzzed all through the teachers.  There was a range of topics and sentiments from grief to anger, which was expressed in rants about how our school needs to crack down on security.  I agree that some things could be tightened up, but at the same time, anger solves nothing, and there is only so much we can do.  Schools already have so many more systems in place than they used to.  I remember that my elementary school was not even locked during the day!  How things have changed.

I don't want to dwell on anything for too long, so I will move on.  

I wanted to quickly share an anchor chart that I made recently.  I have been making a concerted effort to make and use anchor charts more effectively this year.  I get a lot of ideas from Pinterest and my colleague Heather who makes AWESOME charts.  I am always taking pictures in her room and attempting to copy her artistic creations.

The one I want to share with you though is my own creation.  I needed something to help teach students about schema, which is a tricky word and a tricky concept.  I knew people used the idea of a ladder to talk about how using prior knowledge helps you learn new knowledge, so I made a chart to represent this idea.

The visual and the accompanying list really helped the students understand the concept.  It helped them know what kinds of things to think about before they read.  

Well, I need to get off to bed, but before I go, I want to say once again that my thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by the tragedy at Sandy Hook.  I pray that the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1) will comfort you and bring you peace in these troubling times.

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