It’s true; I’m in awe of our thinking third grade learners and their classroom leaders everyday! Pictured left to right are the brilliant minds and souls who lead the charge: Jean Waddill, Amy Clark, Jennifer Rinehart, Traci Samek, and Nikki Hoover. Each of these ladies bring several years of teaching and learning experience to the table; they also live by the example of our school namesake, Mrs. Miller (obvious from where they chose to take this picture for me!).
Third grade is truly a transitional year on so many levels! Learners develop the skills needed to critically solve problems; they begin to think in terms of being real problem solvers (not just in math either). They make the shift from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” in all subject areas; it is an exciting time for learners, leaders, and families!
Third grade also begins the necessary journey of mandated state assessments in Texas. With the new STAAR test coming online this school year, there are many unknowns. This team of classroom leaders, though, work through what they know and do best–teaching the required state curriculum and concentrating on state student expectations. We have no way of knowing what a test or even a question will look like, but we do know what best practices and teaching models can do to support learners. As one third grader shared with me: “Third grade is fun; we use tons of technology and we blog everyday!” Another learner noted: “I like the fact our teachers want our families involved in our work everyday; we share everything.” One friend added, “There’s never a dull moment; I work until my hair hurts.” As a third grade teacher likes to note: “Students do not arrive in my classroom with an instruction manual; it’s my job to determine how each works to his or her best potential.”
My Granny B. would often observe: “Opportunities are disguised as challenges or problems in work clothes (overalls in her case sometimes), so roll up those sleeves and get to solving.” Our third grade team of learners and leaders accept and conquer opportunities every school day. We challenge you to join us on the journey so you can be a THINKER too!
**On another campus note this week: It is MISD “College…Go Get It!” Week. We have special themes at Miller each day and are working to stretch our learners’ minds to plan for their futures. We invite and challenge our families to begin conversations about higher education because it’s never too early to maximize the foundation for a future leader!