Symbols and What, How, Why

What is a symbol? What do symbols represent? Draw a symbol that represents who you are? This was the first part of our morning meeting and the answers and drawings were done in composition notebooks.  After this, we took a minute of mindfulness with eyes closed to reflect on our symbols.  When eyes opened, the setting was very different from the usual fluorescently lit circle.  Three concentric circles of white holiday lights made up the center of our circle.  In the outermost circle were 56 wooden tokens for each of the 52 students and 4 adults.  We asked the students to answer a series of three questions:  What are we doing here in 6th grade?  How are we doing it?  and Why are we doing all of this? (Their responses are below).  The last part of the activity was for each student to write their name and draw their symbol on their chosen wooden token.  They were asked to leave space for three more symbols that will be drawn in as the year progresses.

What---

~Preparation for a full transition to Middle School and High school

~Building Community

~Learning that we all have different perspectives

~Training-Main-Final Progressions     

~Seeing that each light lights up a different area

How---

~Through a grading system

~By moving away from the drama and focusing on positive stuff, getting along, and solving  problems

~By using Morning Meeting to get to know all of our classmates

~We have a chance to go farther with more creative space and choices, and our only       

  limitation is our imagination

~We can make it our own and we have more power

Why---

~So we recognize what we’re doing, our goals, and expectations

~So we can make this year be the way we want it to go based on how we act

~To create new pathways

~ To find our differences

~To show us that we can make our own choices and paths

~To have freedom

~Aim for Final

~To reflect on how we’re doing

~Not just teaching but educating

~Help us grow

~To have the choice to be immature or learn to grow, have fun, and still be serious

~To see that you can’t erase who you are but can work toward being a better person and

  be happy with your reflection

~Seeing that one light giving its best effort can light up a room