I had the opportunity to sit in on a 4th grade book club conversation this morning and I’m happy for the experience. Aside from discussing important matters like ‘would you still love your family member if they were turned in to a mouse?’ I was able to see one of the real strengths of book club and other student directed classroom structures, the teacher ceding control. As a teacher it’s a scary thing to do, to relenquish control albeit temporarily to the students in the classroom, but there is no better way to see students shine. Watching students take ownership of their conversations and really invest in the outcomes is fantastic. I know none of this happens in 4th grade without the experiences of the grades prior and that appears to be a real strength at Condit. Students are going to be thrust in to situations where they must take control of their own learning and take on a leadership role in classroom conversations and it feels great to see they are getting those experiences here.