Usually the classroom is noisy. Voices too loud bouncing off the tile floor making sounds waves reach up to the sawtooth ceiling and bounce yet again like a pinball. Nineteen exuberant little people reading, spelling, writing, collaborating, Today is different. With four out, the room has a low steady hum like that of the boiler when it starts up in my cellar. You know it is running but it is not loud enough to break your thoughts and interrupt your flow.
I look around the room and pride swells within me. Three are recording their thoughts about books on iPads, three are writing in Tux Paint on laptops, more are reading from book boxes and in the library, some are writing in writer's notebooks, and two more are studying spelling words with iPads . One sits with me and reads a delightful story by Jim Arnorsky chortling each time he gets to a part he enjoys.
It has taken since September to mold this masterpiece. Children choosing their path, their tools, their interests. Children taking responsibility for their learning. Children cognizant of their neighbor's needs while pursuing their own. We are in the third rotation of a ninety minute literacy block. The room hums and I am overwhelmed with joy.