3/4 Students Celebrate Who They Are

The bulletin boards outside the 3/4 classrooms are filled with colorful student creations and if you linger before the pictures and words you will learn a lot about the wonderful students who made them. That’s because students and teachers in each class have spent the last several weeks getting to know one another.

The beginning of the school year is an important time for that work, but this year it felt especially important since these students spent much of last year learning remotely. Through deep conversations, writing and art projects, and a “Me Museum” in which every student shared a desk-full of artifacts with personal significance - these 3rd and 4th graders came to know a lot more about one another’s inner and outer lives. 


In this shared unit across all three of the 3/4 classes, sometimes they were all doing the same projects and sometimes doing variations on the theme. Inez’s class created posters featuring colorful backgrounds, black and white photos, and sentences highlighting 3-5 things they wanted to share about themselves with the rest of the school community. These are on the bulletin board outside the room. Inez explained that they spent a lot of time talking about internal and external characteristics: “Things that you can see and know right away versus those that are true but you might not know right away.” 


In her class, Danielle shared that “the Me Museum was a reflective project that allowed the students to provide windows and mirrors for one another. Students were able to connect and made some surprising discoveries. It was a wonderful experience to help foster our classroom community.”


Inez appreciated the opportunity the "Me Museums" provided “to see what students' priorities are and we talked about what connections they found with one another.”  She explained, “some of this unit has been informed by work that I’ve been doing personally to learn about being antiracist. Anti-racism work has to start from a place of students having a positive self-identity. Without having that base, we can’t tackle difficult topics as a group.” So this unit helped students to feel grounded in who they are and that common foundation creates the space for explorations of things like climate change and social justice.


Tess noted that in her class, “what was interesting was that the actual 'Me Museum' assignment was to make museums for their desks but what they ended up wanting to do was take a particular artifact and talk about it in front of the whole class. There were lots of things that kids said about a particular artifact that they couldn’t fully express on an index card so we just went with it . . . During those presentations, you could hear a pin drop. Everyone was riveted. This was extra special during a year when we are always together, which can feel like a family road trip all in the same tiny car every day for hours. So it was good to discover that we can find new, important things to learn about each other.” 

 
 
 
 

 
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Located in College Park, MD, Friends Community School is a progressive Quaker K-8 day school, founded on the belief that every child is a valued member of our community. We offer a challenging curriculum imbued with strong values of equality, integrity, community, environmental stewardship, simplicity and peaceful conflict resolution, rooted in our Quaker heritage.
Friends Community School
5901 Westchester Park Drive
College Park, Maryland 20740
301-441-2100