Posted on August 18, 2017
Welcome back to school!
I hope you had a great summer vacation and are ready for a new school year. I have heard about many exciting trips, beach days, barbeques, and play dates from the students. It's great to be here!
Our first week back was a busy one. We participated in a variety of cooperative learning activities to build our community of working together. To open up these discussions, we read "A Bad Case of Stripes" by David Shannon and "Chrysanthemum" by Kevin Henkes. During the read alouds, we stopped and discussed how the main characters (Camilla and Chrysanthemum) felt in the stories. The students were able to exercise empathy by reflecting on the facial expressions and sad words used by these two main characters. They quickly noticed that each character did not gain immediate acceptance from their peers. Instead, they were on the receiving end of some teasing, name calling, and the feeling of being left out.
These stories led to a conversation about what type of community we would like to have in our classroom this year. We then concluded that it is important for all of our friends to feel accepted, safe, and appreciated by everyone.
As a class we thought of class agreements that would help us to accomplish these goals. Some of the students' ideas were "showing respect," "being kind to one another," "having a quiet work space," "helping our friends," "keeping our classroom clean," and "don't say mean things." Together we narrowed our ideas down to six basic agreements:
be respectful and responsible
take care of each other
use attentive listening
let's have quiet work time
take care of this place
think before you say and do things
In smaller groups, the students created posters about what they thought each agreement meant. What does it look like? How does it make us feel? What symbols or pictures demonstrate this? They also added illustrations of examples for each agreement and shared their ideas with their classmates.
In the end, we all concluded that as a class, we will try to be mindful about following each of the agreements. We also saw the value and importance in following these agreements as a community.
We are looking forward to setting this foundation as a positive beginning to a wonderful school year!
Wednesday, August 23rd: Picture Day: Please have your child wear their collared uniform.
August 21st-25th: Intake Meetings for first grade parents
August 31st: Open House. 6:00pm in the dining room. No child care so please make arrangements for your child.
Thanks for reading!