My son's school hosted a function Thursday night in which 2nd grade students exhibited books they had written in their classes. What a neat idea! A small group of dedicated parents took the kids' hand written books, typed them, then bound the printed-out pages. Somewhere along the line students illustrated their books. Every book was bound and printed the same way. The covers differed from one another only in color. Though obviously these parent volunteers worked hard, I enjoyed how the event was about the kids and only the kids. There were no ostentatious displays. There was no one-up-manship in terms of covers. Every student had their work product out there for the public to look at.
Two days later his school district had its third annual elementary school triathlon. Second graders had to swim one width of the pool, bike one mile, and run one half-mile. It took my son about 18 minutes to complete the three events. I got to help in the transition area (which won't be possible in 3rd grade). I was impressed at the army of volunteer staff, elementary teachers (mostly from the physical education department), on hand and the smooth logistics of the day. Altogether 1,100 students participated and all receive the honor of having their name displayed in their home gymnasium. Though this was a much larger undertaking than the authors' tea I attended Thursday it was still student-centered. The accomplishment of finishing the Iron Knights triathlon was all the kids'. And I was impressed at the monumental effort those teachers undertook to make those kids feel like kings that day.