September 08, 2015

Happy New Year!

Today was the first day of school and it was a great one! The first day is such a special one. The entire school buzzes with excitement! And it's really something, because as the day goes on, we end up feeling like old friends by the time 3:20 rolls around!  

Our day began down in the Gym where we all found each other. At that point in the day, I was wondering if the kids were as nervous as I was! They all looked so shiny and happy with their new clothes, supplies and haircuts! 

Once I had my crew, it was time to head on up to 208 and get the day started.  We got unpacked and organized and began working on an "All About Me" booklet.  We took breaks from work all morning to talk about classroom expectations, routines and procedures.  Working on the booklet was a nice way to break things up. 

This afternoon we read a hilarious book called, "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" by Mark Teague.  We discussed how good readers notice when their thinking changes in a story. We believed the main character in this text up until page 3 or 4 and then his story became both funny and ridiculous! 
I don't want to spoil anything, but the book really was a great way to kick off our discussion about what good readers do.  

Since the book is all about cowboys, I thought it would be fun to teach the kids my counting by sixes song. It's a country western tune designed to bring out your inner cowboy while helping you count those half-dozens.  

The kids can practice it at home by clicking on "Math Songs" at the top of the blog home page.  

Tomorrow, we'll have some fun brainstorming things that would be funny to be captured by. The kid in the story is captured by cowboys (not exactly doing a great job here keeping the spoilers a secret am I??). 

I honestly don't know where the rest of the day went.  Even though I planned to do less, we still didn't fit everything in! I mean, we actually did Morning Message in the afternoon! 

As I mentioned, we talked a lot about routines and procedures today. Routines and procedures are the key to a successful learning environment for all students. They teach kids how to think for themselves, develop confidence and problem-solving skills and they free up teachers to make the most of our time with our students.  We still have a bunch to cover and it's okay to take it slow with this. 

Some of the key routines and procedures we reviewed today were: 
  • the importance of using our manners 
  • the respect we show when we use someone's name when speaking 
  • the importance of tucking in our chairs 
  • our first recess snack is always our healthiest
  • the role of the Student of the Day
  • Mrs. M appreciates eye-contact and full-sentence responses 
  • how do table points work? 
  • what's the deal with all those stuffed animals? 
  • what's the "Teacher Zone" and what's that lady hiding back there?
  • what's DEAR time? 
I hope today will be the first of many great days together. If your little one is like me, they are both pooped and full of enthusiasm all at once!  

I would love for all students to have their indoor shoes, refillable water bottle and set of coloring utensils as soon as possible. 

Here's a quick look at what we're working on this week. I usually post this week at a glance on Sunday night or Monday morning.  It's not written in stone, as I tend to be an over-planner, but it gives you an idea as to what's happening this week.  


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