We had a lovely first three days together as 5K 2017! Students seem eager, engaged, and excited --ready for a fantastic year of learning together. We pretty much did absolutely nothing academic, but look at all that we accomplished in only three days together:
- Recess Games --We played Zombie Tag and Infection together as a class, learning how to play safely and fairly. We also learned an indoor recess game called Silent Ball, which is a thrilling game of standing on chairs and throwing a ball around the room. Crazy, I know, but students loved it and played safely and respectfully.
- Building Ownership --We engaged in some class discussions about how we should run the classroom this year, particularly about comfy chair privileges, to give students a sense of ownership of the space.
- Artistic Tricks --I taught students some graphic design tips to help them make their visual work stand out. We learned how to make bubble letters, cool backgrounds, cartoon people, and more. We even learned a little about decorating with collage. Students then created name tags and decorated their writing journals to practice their new artistic skills. These tricks will come in handy as students create posters, brochures, advertisements, and more to feature their learning throughout the year.
- Team Building --Students worked in teams to practice their listening and compromising skills. They had to name their table groups and create a group cheer together. The groups are:
- The Rainbow Pandas -Kate, Emma, & Willie
- The Knights of the Round Table -Owen C, Owen F, Eleanor, & Nadya
- The Blue Dabs -Caroline, Anika, & Jacob
- The Lazy Lizzzards -Alex, Katie, Max, & Isaiah
- The Rays -Thomas B, Caly, Thomas H, & Wyatt
- Read Aloud --I started reading aloud from There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar. We've met main character Bradley Chalkers, who hates school, loves lying, and plays with imaginary animal friends.
- Routines --We practiced classroom routines, like lining up quietly, getting materials quickly, and cleaning up efficiently. Very important to get this stuff down now in order to focus on the real learning later.
- Google Classroom --I introduced Google Classroom to students, which will become our online space for many assignments, surveys, and responses. We learned what makes a good comment when replying to others' posts online.
This Week's Plan
Last week, I was extremely ambitious in my planning. We didn't get to most of what I planned for, so much of it will be moved to this week.
- Labor Day --Monday, no school.
- Ice Cream Social --Thursday, September 8 at 5:00pm at the big playground.
The launch of the school year is filled with a lot of non-academic learning. This type of preparation will make our classroom function smoothly and help us work together when learning gets more challenging.
- Getting to Know You --We'll be sharing all about ourselves, from our favorite summer memories to our favorite hobbies through writing, art, and social activities.
- Procedures Overview and Practice --We'll practice walking quietly in the hallways, quieting down quickly, coming to the rug, using classroom materials respectfully, and so on.
- Group Skills Training --Explicit practice in the art of working with other people. We'll focus on listening, compromising, and non-verbal communication. These skills are essential for the partner work and team projects we do throughout the year.
- Recess Fun --To aid in team-building, we'll be playing class games such as Zombie tag, Capture the Flag, and Captain's Coming. We'll focus on how to be fair, inclusive, safe, and good sports.
- Technology Intro --Students will be using a lot of technology this year. We'll discuss how to safely and respectfully use technology and get active on some of our accounts.
Launching Reading Workshop.
- Classroom Library Exploration --We'll learn about how the classroom library is organized. We'll develop a system together for checking out books and sharing recommendations. Students can choose a book to dive into.
- Teacher Read Aloud --We're reading There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar. An entertaining story about a boy who hates school, hates his peers, and hates himself, but turns his life around with the help of a committed school counselor.
- Informal Assessments --While students independently read, I will float around the room and ask individual students to read aloud for me so I can learn more about each of them as readers.
- Find a "Just Right" Book --We'll learn how to find books that are just right for us and how to recognize that a book is too hard.
Launching Writing Workshop.
- Aspirations --Students will write about what they want to accomplish socially and academically this year. We'll learn a little about transition words and phrases, as well as framing our ideas with an introduction and conclusion.
- Multiplication Review --To make sure students start fifth grade off right, we'll review our basic multiplication facts through 12x12. We'll play Multiplication Bingo and look at patterns of multiples.
- Explore Math Resources --Students will explore some of our math materials such as calculators, dice, cards, base-10 blocks, and more. We'll practice taking them out and putting them away neatly.
- Multiplication Game --I love coming up with math games. We'll be rolling dice, betting, and multiplying to practice our multiplication facts.
- Place Value --We will explore how our place value system is set up and compare numbers in various place values.
These first few weeks we hold off on Science and Social Studies to focus on launching reading, writing, and math.
Please check the Homework page for more details. Students will need to do the following at home this week:
- Keep a log of at-home independent reading in your planner.
- Read 25 minutes at home per day.
- Practice memorizing your basic multiplication facts up to 10x10.
Thanks for Reading!
So that's the plan for the week. Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or feedback. I look forward to an awesome school year!