Archive for April, 2017

Celebrating our PYP Students

Tomorrow is Exhibition Day for our fifth graders at Joyner. This is a culmination of the work that happens for students in the IB Primary Years Programme. Our students truly begin to see how they take in information and consider how it connects and what then, they can do with it. Tomorrow our students will be showcasing some of learning they have experienced.

Students have read common text that provided them experiences to consider issues that are important to them. Fifth graders discussed the power of arts. They wondered what life would be without arts around them. They considered having a day without arts to showcase how much our world and Joyner is infused with art. Other students have looked into the issue of poverty. They have learned about global issues but also local poverty. I visited a fifth grade classroom the other day where students were practicing their presentations they plan to make tomorrow. Both Ms. Lewis and Mr. Del were encouraging their public speaking skills. Students provided critiques and insight on how to make the presentation more moving. The conversations about how they want to act in moving forward after learning about the issues were creative.

The amount of work that our fifth graders do in accomplishing this “final” task of the K-5 IB experience is incredible. But it is important to be said that this really is work done not just in fifth grade but has been built throughout the years at Joyner.

Our students often are those that seek solutions. Many are eager to provide support to others. Even our first grade students build capacity of giving through their visits to our aging neighbors at Mayview. Our first graders learn to read with these neighbors, interview them and just connect.

It is important work as an IB learner to see that the knowledge we gain is something that we can use to move forward into our world. I enjoy meeting Joyner alum who share the passions they are discovering in work and school. It amazes me when these students seek Joyner to complete service projects or research projects. It feels fulfilling to know that the relationships and learning that happens while at Joyner has left an imprint on students to the point that they want to come back to it.

I wish our fifth graders well tomorrow. I am thrilled with the process they have spent in this Exhibition work. And look forward to celebrating them.


Celebration of Arts on Thursday

Thursday evening will be our Spring Concert under the overhang. I love this celebration of the arts as our second grade students will begin the evening with songs and smiles. Mr. Fotta has helped the students create their props. And Ms. Moore will surely have found some great songs to share. Our third graders then showcase their hard work with the recorders. There is an incredible pride for the students who have added a rainbow of colored belts on their recorders. I always enjoy seeing the smiles of parents as they finally hear the end of this commitment the students have given to this instrument. And we will end our evening with our Gold Choir. This group of fourth and fifth graders come early mornings to practice with Ms. Moore. Their voices have grown with harmony.

I look forward to this event as we sit in the midst of amazing artwork around us under the overhang. I am so grateful to our teachers who give so much extra to create these moments to celebrate art as they do.

I look forward to enjoying this celebration and watching our children shine. See you at 6:30.

The Super Powers of Teachers

Today was really an ordinary day at Joyner. We started our day in a staff meeting. These are always amazing moments to learn together and from each other. We also took the time to pause and consider the work that we do each and every day. I shared with the staff how powerful they each are in the work they do. The staff celebrated the powers in each other as well. Some of us even dressed in our super hero mode just to bring some fun into the day.

As I look at the rest of the day that was completely filled, I am amazed at the amount of celebrations I could share through Twitter in the work of our teachers. I didn’t even realize how many times I sent a tweet of superpowers in action today. It is amazing that I can walk into classrooms and catch so many powerful things happening.

I encourage you to take a moment and check it out. But I also couldn’t quite capture it all. Ms. Lewis’ class was incredible as they made the connections and thought critically of the Uncle Sam stories and moments of patriotism in our history. Ms. Duncan talked about her students who begin to see that the world is bigger than Raleigh and share with their parents the stories and culture they learn from their Spanish teachers. Ms. Gourley celebrated the intensity and pride of our fourth graders as they prepared to dance the Tango tomorrow. Fourth grade classes were proud to share the plays they had created about a book that has moved them in so many ways. Ms. Pelletier’s class discuss the books they read and how they as authors themselves want to determine what they want to communicate with their readers. Mr. Poyer’s class prepared for action by noticing their whole body stance. Smiles on faces all around. On and on, my day was filled with the incredible work our children are engaged in at Joyner.

I know many of us see those big moments, the projects that wow us as they walk in, the reports students give, etc. But I also notice the small moments of learning that our teachers work with our students everyday on.

Thank you teachers for your superpowers that you extend to our children. And students, I am thrilled to see how you are building your own superpowers of the mind as well.