Creating a Sense of Community Learners - Mid-Pacific Institute

Grade 5

Creating a Sense of Community Learners

Posted on November 12, 2017

by Ms. Jenkins on November 12, 2017

"It's Wednesday!" exclaimed an excited 5th grader. "We get to read to our Kinder Buddies today!"

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And so begins many Wednesday mornings as we gear up for the day. We look forward to spending time with our Kindergarten friends. During our time together once each month, we do activities with them and read with them every week. The younger students enjoy it so much that when they see their 5th grade buddy on campus, they are jumping up and down waving to them. Or they come running over during recess, encouraging their buddy to come and play with them. Our 5th graders are often just as excited as the Kindergartners. At recess, one of the first questions I hear from some of them is, "Can I go play with the Kindergartners?"

This past week, our Wednesday was replaced with a Friday schedule. Upon realizing the change in the schedule, many students looked worried that morning. "Don't worry!" we shared. "We will still read to our Buddies even though it is a Friday schedule." Students breathed a sigh of relief as we began our morning routine.

5th graders also build a sense of responsibility to their community through their Peace Team jobs. The students help the school in many different ways -- from timing the younger kids on the tire swing to helping Mr. Pires with his equipment. Mrs. Day wrote more about it in her blog, Peace Team Begins.

We also have 6th grade buddies to bridge the transition to 6th grade and build the sense of our larger school community. We have met our buddies once already and toured the campus. The buddy groups explored the campus and documented it through a pic collage scavenger hunt. Ask your child to share the image(s) with you. We will be meeting our buddies again in December and two more times in the second semester.

During this time of year, students reflect on our learning and growth as individuals as they build their portfolios. They reflect on their new responsibilities and opportunities and look at their place in the school community and how they impact it. They also review their learning and growth in the classroom. This year our portfolios are structured around the Learner Profile (shown below). They look at the learning they are doing and determine which traits are being developed in the activity. When they thought about their time with their Kinder Buddies and their roles on Peace Team, they thought about ways in which they "Care and Respect the environment and the community that they live in." Your children are looking forward to sharing these reflections and more with you as a way to prepare for our Student- Parent-Teacher Conferences in December. We will provide more information as the time nears.

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