These days I had been teaching cause and effect and planning a PBL for the next week. It was supposed to begin today, but the students had been arriving late to my classroom (they have music, physical education or arts before my class) and we lost a class day due another power outage, so I needed extra time to finish the previous lesson plan.
Planning a PBL for third graders is a risky adventure. It needs a lot of structure, and that takes time. I first planned a one week PBL. Due the lost time, I reduced that lesson plan to four days and presented it to my mentor teacher. I still have two more things to cover before classes are over, so I couldn’t extend the PBL more than four days, or so I thought. When my mentor teacher read it, he told me that I could merge one of the next themes into the PBL and extend it to seven days. For him was important to extend the PBL because in the classroom quality is better than quantity. He is right: a seven days PBL is way more better in quality terms. The product of the PBL will be shared with the third grade students of a public school nearby. I want my students to learn to serve others with their learning, and to socialize with kids that are not of their own learning environment.
Today we had the Poetry Recital try outs: all the students recited the poem “The Voice,” by Shel Silverstein, my mentor teacher and I scored them with a rubric and the ten best scores received an invitation for their parents to the Poetry Recital in the library at May 25. The student who got the eleventh best score began to cry when he knew he would not be able to recite the poem in the final Poetry Recital. I talked with my mentor teacher to see if we could squeeze one student more, but my mentor teacher thought that it was better to help that student to learn how to lose. I am a student teacher who still needs to learn a lot about children, so I did what he suggested me. Learning how to lose is a necessary lesson in this life. Some learn it sooner, some learn it later. These are the kind of lessons that are necessary for helping our students to grow as person, not merely helping them to know some skills.
Let’s keep growing!