Saturday, March 1, 2014

2014 - Week 8 and Feb comes to an end

Happy March 1st.
I just posted my 1st of (hopefully) 31 small moment SOL (slice of life) stories to: I am a bit worried about the time committment but I watched today and saw that in 30 minutes, I posted what I had typed last night and then read and commented on 3 other bloggers' posts. I think this is a doable challenge and definitely beneficial!!

Better Transitions:
I asked the kids if they could write and make suggestions as to how we could have better transitions. Duh! They had some good ideas and we implemented 3 of them.
1) I will set a timer during the beginning of a transition and then say nothing until it goes off. I'll admit, I was tell all to transition and then literally 30 seconds later being annoyed that they were not done. I need to give them time and after starting to do this on Thur and Fri, I was seeing a difference, mostly in me remaining calm!
2) When moving in the halls of the school, be in a line of boy-girl-boy-girl; We started this on Thur and finally, we seem to be able to walk to the cafeteria in a quiet, straight line!
3) Tranitional Helper Job - we have added 2 people whose job it will be to help out during transitions. They went around and restated that it is time to transition and to do whatever, be it get out our writing workshop folders or stack our chairs at the end of the day. Now three people and not just me are offering friendly reminders.
So far, so good! I am reminded again of the value of using the Responsive Classroom Approach. For weeks, we have begun the day with a fun greeting. On Wed, when transitions were still frustrating me, I simply ask them to write me their suggestions. ALL TOGETHER, we are managing our class!

New dilemma...a mom told me how her child was upset on Friday because when her child asked another if he could join "the cool group", the cool group leader said he'd let him know on Monday. Then on Monday, this child said he didn't want to go to school but of course, he did. Then he came home Monday all happy because the "cool kid" said he didn't have to be "part of the weirdo group but could be part of the cool group." My dilemma - I had NO IDEA this kind of discussion was occurring in my classroom. I was aware, that overall, I was not feeling like these kids showed lots of empathy and they couldn't see how their actions caused others to feel. To help with this, I decided to read-aloud Wonder. Now I think I really need steer the discussions toward the idea of including and excluding. Boy, teaching is SO much more than just teaching content! SO much more...

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