Students lead faculty meeting at CVES
Published 5:07 pm Monday, December 7, 2015
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – Creek View Elementary School third-grader Connor Helms neatly organized the worksheets he had used for visual aids during his presentation, inserted them into his binder and confidently asked “Are there any questions?”
“I was going to ask you what your goals were, but you already answered that,” third-grade teacher Janet McKay said with a smile after the five teachers gathered around Helms applauded him.
Helms was one of several CVES students who led a portion of the school’s faculty meeting on the afternoon of Dec. 7. During their presentations, the students showcased to parents and teachers the “data notebooks” they have compiled so far this semester through the school’s leadership initiative.
Through the program, students in several classes are encouraged to keep notebooks chronicling everything they learn. Each week, the students review the progress they have made in the classroom and set goals for themselves for the following week.
Although the students may not reach every goal they set, they are always learning, said third-grader Gracie Parker, who also presented during the meeting.
“Sometimes we don’t achieve a goal, but that’s OK,” Parker said while taking a short break between presentations to the rotating group of teachers. “Sometimes when you don’t reach a goal, it leads you in a different direction and you achieve a different goal.”
Each data notebook contains records of significant learning milestones, charts tracking past and future learning goals and a section detailing goals the students have already achieved.
CVES Principal Charissa Cole said allowing students to lead the presentations gave them a chance to showcase the ownership they have taken in their learning.
“I just love this program because it allows them to track and take ownership of their own learning,” Cole said, noting this is the first semester the school has enacted the program. “They are able to set goals for themselves in each subject area.”
The students didn’t limit their goals to the current school year.
“I just started working on division so that I’ll be prepared for the fourth grade,” Helms said as he pointed to the sheet laying out his learning plan. “I’m trying to get ready for the rest of my grades until college.”