Right now what's working in my classroom is a few things I won't allow myself or anyone else to compromise:
1. giving myself permission to take time to talk with my students about THEM. That sounds so depressing, doesn't it? A few years ago we under pressure to stick to a schedule that gave us about 15 minutes per day to teach science, social studies, art, music, clean-up, put backpacks away, you get the idea. Let me tell you, that's miserable for the teacher and the kids! If we spend 20 minutes just talking to each other about what kids what to talk about it's ok by me. I get to know them, they get to know me, and everything's good!
2. Playing games! Math work stations, partner word sorts, Scoot, SpellingCity.com, abcya.com, Go Noodle
3. Regular time for PE
4. Writer's Workshop- started this 2 years ago, did it a little more last year, and I love it! My kiddos get to choose their topics so they're extremely excited to write. They help each other proofread. I jsut love watching and listening to them interact with each other and their writing! It makes this teacher's heart very happy.
5. Daily 5- I'm tellin' you... I can't imagine ever NOT doing this! It's the best thing I've ever done in my classroom! Kids love it, I love it, and I see it building excitement about books, the desire to read, and along with that comes improvement in reading.
***What is one of the very best things you've added to your teaching repertoire?
This made me laugh
Yesterday I wrote about having been burned out and not enjoying my job a few years ago. Angela suggests finding a PD book to read, taking on a new school committee, or challenging yourself to do something new in your room as a way to shake things up and make things new again.
That's not easy and can be very scary!
Last year was my first experience with 1:1 technology in the classroom. It forced me to try things even though I didn't know what the outcome might be. I'm the kind of teacher who tries to think through the possible problems and pitfalls in order to try to prevent them so this was extremely uncomfortable for me. One day I tried using Google docs with my 2nd graders. I had no idea if what I was planning was something they could really do. Well, what we tried didn't work. I was honest with my kiddos about not knowing how it would work out and when it didn't they were flexible and change gears with me and we just did the project a different way.
I'm not saying that was the best thing to do, but we all made it through the experience and it gave me the courage to try other things even when I wasn't sure of the outcome.
Angela writes," Don't internalize this pressure, my friends. Be kind to yourself."
Something for me work on. I'm sure I'll be re-reading this chapter.
I hope this next school year will be a fun adventure for all of us! Some of my classroom set-up and possibly our PD day may not be much fun. There will be lots of paperwork, supplies to sort through, etc. but as Angela writes,"Watching kids learn is the greatest adventures you'll ever have." Here's to a great adventure! Let's
Thank you to Jessica from Tales of a First Grade Teacher for introducing me to this book and inviting me to be part of this book study. Please check out the other posts from Jessica, Cassie, Brittany, and Sandy on their fabulous blogs! (if you haven't already :)
If you're interested in more about Unshakeable by Angela Watson, she has tons of resources on her website. Just click on the image of her book. There is also a Facebook group doing a book study too.