Last night, bears and raccoons broke into the school and had a s’mores party...without us!!! Luckily, they only left a mess of the classroom supplies. This was a great opportunity for everyone to pitch in to clean up. It also was a great lead into a discussion about giving and receiving feedback. As you may have heard, seen, and/or experienced before, some people tend to do the work and others tend to watch them. As teachers, this is nothing new, and for the students it’s nothing new either. What is different is how we address it in 6th grade. We framed, discussed, and demonstrated how to appropriately address our peers. (ie: I noticed this morning that when most of us were cleaning up, you were sitting down and not helping. It makes me feel frustrated and angry because it’s not fair for me to do a job that we are all responsible for. I need you to make more of an effort to help when it’s clean up time). We also touched on receiving feedback and recognizing that it doesn’t mean you’re ‘in trouble’ if someone addresses you. It’s a chance to take ownership and to experience being held accountable for your choices. Several students took the opportunity to give very relevant and timely feedback to their peers about not helping with cleanup, talking during instruction, and being distracting during class. We are aware that using individual names has not been a regular practice, but it will be this year.