Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ownership (slice 10 of 31)

This post is a part of the Slice of Life challenge which is hosted on the Two Writing Teachers blog.  The month of March the challenge is to write a blog post a day.

This week at school was a strange week.  There wasn't anything concrete that I could point out as being the reason, it just was an odd week at school.

On Friday, we were up to business as usual when one of my students came back to the classroom from an errand and informed me that the hallway display was falling and should he fix it?  So he took a stapler, some tacks, and tape out to the hallway and did his best.

Now, this display is really not the best.  I cobbled it together and did not probably take the time needed to make it look great, but I really wanted to have the students display their reading somehow.  We talked about it and worked out together what they might do and I left it to their creativity to give me some sort of display.  It is one that I am not very proud of, because not everybody participated and we don't have all the books represented.  I do think the students who did add to the display did an excellent job and there are some amazing things there.

I didn't think the kids were all that proud of it either until Friday.  After this boy proceeded to fix the display, it stayed up for the rest of the day without an issue.  The problem is that all I have in the hallway are cork strips so there isn't much support for this big paper.  At the end of the day, as students were lining up to leave, I saw another student stapling the top of the display back to the cork strip.

Now, I was perplexed.  What was it about this display that made students care if it was up or falling?  Aren't they the same students that will walk past posters that fall without a care?  What is the difference?  And then, it dawned on me that these students had ownership of this display.  It is a compilation of the work of multiple students and they helped me decide what it would look like.

What a good reminder for myself about the power of belonging and having some say in the classroom.  I will be thinking about this as I plan for the week.


  1. I actually love that display. I may be copying it (the idea) next quarter! Thanks for the reminder to let the kids have say in it.

  2. What a cool display. I love that you let your students have ownership in creating it. We just replaced our cork strips with two large dry erase boards that I want to use to highlight student reading and writing. I think I may ask for their suggestions on what to include and how to do it. I suspect they might come up with more ideas and better ones than I could on my own.

  3. Gravity is an odd thing.
    Great story and a nice display.

  4. Ouch this reminds me of the pile of things I need to hang. Projects from art class and shamrocks.