August 24, 2014

Ready Or Not

School starts tomorrow!

Eight years ago, I celebrated the fact that I would never have to have another first First Day of School again as a teacher.  Well, this is now my eighth "first day of school," and it has gotten easier.  I know the routines I want to teach, I know the books I want to read, and I know that I will never really feel ready.

My classroom is ready -- charts are hanging, read-aloud books are set out, copies are made, shelves are covered.  I know most of my students -- some are siblings of previous students, some I remember from last year, and some I met at Open House last week.  I am prepared -- possibly more prepared that I have been for any other first day.  It just doesn't matter how ready the classroom is, or how many of my students I already know, or how prepared I am, it's still hard to feel actually "ready."

In 24 hours the first day will be behind us and we will be into the busiest week of the year.  By the end of the week, we will know names, routines, procedures, songs, books, rules, and will, hopefully, have the beginnings of a strong classroom community.

Ready or not...

August 15, 2014

Getting Back to the Firsties

This week I attended a Responsive Classroom (RC) training.  Although I have been using the RC approach since I started teaching and have attended a few mini-trainings, I've never participated in the official Responsive Classroom Course.  This week, the training was being offered 30 minutes from my apartment so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get the professional development credits and experience the full 4-day course.

An important part of implementing RC practices (find out more here) is understanding children's development.  This has gotten me thinking about why I love 6-year-olds and teaching first grade.

For instance, they read in the funniest positions:

(Notice that a marble, a coin, a plastic dinosaur, and a lego have fallen out of this little guy's pocket)

(I just noticed that this little one is reading the same book!)

They also write the sweetest notes.

Next week, we have staff PD and then our kiddos come back the following week. Making the transition from summer to school is never easy, but it helps to know I've got a whole new group of these earnest, eager, adorable kiddos coming my way. I'm taking this weekend to relax, prepare, and ... get excited to get back to the firsties.