I like it when I get to sit in real classrooms. I look around, check out what’s on the walls and in the bins, try to absorb all the details. I don’t often have the chance to do that on school visits. I’m usually in the library or the auditorium or the (dreaded) cafetorium, which smells of old cheese and ammonia, then maybe I’ll duck into a side closet to sign books.
Recently I visited the cozy Richmond Consolidated School in Massachusetts, a visit organized by a force of nature known as Rachel Kanz. Zipping from one spot to the next, we dashed into Rachel’s 6th grade classroom for a pit stop.
I noticed this on the wall:
Are your eyes not what they used to be? I know the feeling. Here, step closer, take a closer look:
“Clever,” I commented. “Shades of meaning. I like it.”
“I got it from Lucy Calkins,” Rachel said, crediting the influential author and founding director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. “Her idea. I just ran with it.”