February 5, 2018

Dear Campus School Families,

I was recently in one of our classrooms and saw students intently engaged in an
exercise of observation, description, and reporting. They were watching the
birth of a brook trout and quietly recording their observations. Each student
was focused - looking, thinking, and writing, which was followed by a period of
sharing with their classmates, prompted by the question, "what did you see?"

I heard a sophisticated display of language when the students were describing
what they saw - very creative and descriptive words were used to capture and
convey their impressions, and it was clear that students were taking the entire
exercise, from observation to reporting out, very seriously.

And these three skills sets - observing, describing, and reporting - are
fundamental to so many human activities. Their development in this lesson
was attached to a real life and interesting phenomenon (the birth of the brook
trout). This is what concrete, relevant, and practical skill building looks like in
an elementary classroom.