Dispatches from Week One

Stamina. After the first week of school I cannot stop thinking about stamina. We’re building stamina for reading independently. We’re building stamina for sitting on the carpet. We’re building stamina for being back in school, period.

This is why during the first week of school we put all of our weight into knowing each other and our classroom. When students walk in on the first day, fabric covers every shelf and material that is waiting to be discovered and used. The walls are bare. Bulletin boards remain black. Hallways are empty.DSCF2217DSCF2162DSCF2111Together we build the classroom. Together we create norms for how to treat each other and our shared materials.DSCF2149And so during our first week together we played games like “Clumps” to talk about being inclusive. We made construction paper houses to adorn the door. We built shelters with found materials. And we built puzzles together.DSCF2147DSCF2216As a class we decided that the best way to meet every student’s needs on the carpet was to allow students to pick their own spots. In turn, we spent the week creating norms and problem solving issues as they arose. “What do I do if someone is sitting where I want to sit?” “What do I do if my friend wants to sit next to me but I don’t want to sit next to her because I might get distracted? I don’t want to hurt her feelings.” We figured out what to do when there were only eight glue sticks for 25 students. (Hurry up, supply order!) We found a solution for continuing to read independently when you’ve already read all of the books in your book bin. (We’ve reached 10 minutes in Read-to-Self!) DSCF2116DSCF2185DSCF2186DSCF2204DSCF2206DSCF2208DSCF2160This week we will continue to build our stamina. Fueled by this three-day weekend, we will hit the ground running as we kick-off our fall expedition, launch our writing workshop, and set our hopes and dreams for second grade.

We’re looking forward to a wonderful year.

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