We had a great first 3 days of school! Here are some of the highlights:
- Students spent some time getting to know each other better through our daily morning meetings and some playful activities.
- We had a thrilling time playing Multiplication Bingo in Math, practicing our basic facts while engaging in some friendly competition.
- Students worked on team-building by naming their table groups and creating a group cheer. We have: The Pineapple People, The Totally Troubled Turtles of Doom, Taco Tuesdays on Wednesdays, The Mysterious Merchandise Monkees, and The Purple Prancing Unicorns*. Each month, students will switch groups and get to collaborate with new people.
- Students are enthralled with our class read aloud, There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar. It's about an unruly 5th grader named Bradley Chalkers with no friends, a disdain for school, and a propensity to lie to hide how troubled he actually is. So far, students feel a mix of pity and outrage at Bradley's shocking behavior. Will he ever make any friends?
- I added a lesson on Graphic Design, teaching students techniques for making posters, visuals, and presentations look great, even if artistic talent is not a strength. I then asked students to use those techniques to create a name tag to display in the classroom.
- We established a number of classroom routines and expectations while building our community. All of this non-academic community-building is essential to building a strong foundation of trust, respect, and independence.
* Correction made to original post!
What We Didn't Get To
A lot! Everything we did do took a lot longer than I anticipated, plus I added a couple of lessons/activities that I didn't include in the original plan. Here is what we didn't get to this past week:
- Exploring math resources.
- Sharing book recommendations.
- We only just started our first writing piece, "What You Should Know About Me."
- Multiplication review.
- Extra (structured) recess.
- Technology Intro.
This Week's Plan
- Ice Cream Social --Thursday, September 7th from 5:00-6:00pm.
- 5th Grade Core Values Presentations at All School Meeting --8:40am-9:20am.
Unit: Launching Reading Workshop
- Establish Reading Workshop Routines --behavior expectations, finding spots in the room to read, etc.
- Gain Familiarity with the Classroom Library --library organization, navigate levels and topics of books, and build excitement for reading.
- Model Good Reading --with teacher read aloud of There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar.
Unit: Launching Writing Workshop
- Introductory Writing Piece --"What You Should Know About Me." Students compose a letter to me describing their interests, families, strengths, weaknesses, and any important factors that influence how they learn.
- The Writing Process --brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. We'll discuss what is expected at each stage and some strategies for each.
Unit: Launching Math Workshop
- Beginning of the Year Assessments --I'll assess what students know with a couple of review tests on 4th grade concepts and previews of 5th grade concepts.
- Explore Math Resources --explore math materials such as calculators, dice, cards, base-10 blocks, and more. Get Student Math Journal and Study Link books.
- Overview Math Workshop Expectations --how we hold discussions, how we work through our thinking, how we engage respectfully with our peers, how we check our work, and more.
- Review Essential Skills --build the foundation for starting 5th grade math with a review of the basics.
I rotate teaching Science and Social Studies each month. Next week I'll launch Science. We'll be learning about Water.
Here are some non-academic focus areas for the week:
- Core Values Presentation --create a presentation on "Being a Respectful Audience" to share at All School Meeting on Friday. We'll learn how to use a video editing app.
- Group Skills Training --explicit practice in the art of working with other people; focus on listening, compromising, and non-verbal communication. These skills are essential for the partner work and team projects we do throughout the year.
- Class Games --for team-building. We'll play structured class games and activities such as Silent Ball and GoNoodle, focusing being fair, inclusive, safe, and good sports.
- Technology Intro --how to safely and respectfully use technology; set up some important accounts, such as Google Classroom. Take a website tour of www.mskimball.com.
Students will need to do the following at home this week:
- Read 20 minutes each day (or 140 minutes per week) and log your reading in your Planner.
- There will be a math page each night.
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!