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Teacher Comments on Students' Work with Welcome Packs ...
(Elementary Classroom)

From: !jamesvny002 (Lois Kaczor)
Date: Tues Feb 24 13:45 EST 1990
To: !ppe1:cir
Subject: Classroom update

...Picture, please, a group of ten fourth graders spread about the Library floor with bits and pieces of the Welcome Pack from British Columbia. Each is deeply engrossed in reading the brochures, maps, clippings, etc. There is considerable verbal exchange as they call out pieces of information they find interesting. There is some arguing over who gets what next. There are two boys now pulling out the globe to do a comparison of the location of British Columbia and Syracuse and there is considerable discussion about the weather differences.

Two other youngsters get out an atlas, check a map, put the atlas away and get a "better" one. They have no trouble finding the map they want and the city they are looking for.

A girl carries a clipboard and is writing down questions the boys are calling out to her. These are to be used in the next Learning Network message. Two teachers move in and about this scene answering a question here and there, but more often, asking a probing question or making a suggestion for further analysis.

This goes on for thirty minutes and must end only because another group wishes to use the floor space. Grudgingly, things are put away, but the conversation continues.


"What about ..."

"Did you see..."

"Well, I think ..."

The Welcome Pack is clutched securely in the hands of one student and the slightly noisy group exits the library on its way to the reading room. These deeply involved, actively engaged, turned on, task oriented learners are a group of "reluctant readers" who normally have far more interesting things to do with their time than to attend to their studies. But when they are with their reading teacher, who volunteered them to work with the Learning Network, they are the best workers and thinkers I've seen in a long time. They are writing, they are reading, they are asking questions, they are learning and they are enjoying it!

That's it for today ...
Lois in overcast Syracuse.


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