I had forgotten how hard teaching is. After so many days “off” this summer (while I could get on my soapbox about how teachers are not really off all summer, I’ll spare you the details. For now. 🙂 ), we’re finally back into the school year. Today was day 5. And I am tired. Exhausted. Sleepy. T. I. R. E. D. Perhaps it comes from the fact that, even in 5th grade, you still have to do so much for your students this early in the year–mainly just since routines and procedures are not yet in place–or maybe it’s that I’m out of shape. Either way, I’ve been ready for bed by 8:30 or 9 every night. Granted, I haven’t actually GONE to bed that early because I’ve had work to do, but believe me, I was ready. 🙂
But by day 5, things are starting to settle down (at least a teeny bit), so I can stop to rest and reflect on how the first week (and then a day today) have gone. And I’m happy to report that things have gone pretty well. So far so good!
I mentioned in a post before school about how my team had come up with some great ideas for how to thoughtfully do our community building activities. This turned out to be a genius move (if I do say so myself!) and I’ve loved how things have worked out thus far. We even worked out the order together on a Google Doc (which has been a personal goal of mine). It’s nice to know that even though we’re not trying to be copycat classrooms, we’re all doing similar things in a similar order. Teams kinda work like that, you know. 🙂
While I would love to share EVERY MINUTE of what’s happened over the last 5 days, I don’t have time (nor energy) to do so–hopefully if you’re a parent in our room you have heard all the fabulous tales from your kiddo anyway! What I will do, though, is share some highlights. Then I will promise to eat my Wheaties and take Vitamin C so that I will not be so pooped next week and can instead update the blog more often. 🙂
One of the team building activities on our list was the Human Knot. Basically, you “tie” yourselves together by holding hands across the circle, then you have to work together to “untie” yourselves into one big circle at the end. We did this very early on, very shortly after we had all met each other, thinking (and hoping really!) that it would be hard. We did pretty good for our first try, actually, and got two parts of the knot undone. There was a pretty large tangle still left in the middle, though, that was ready to topple over at any moment. We celebrated the way we worked together and let certain friends step up and lead, and vowed to do better next time. I’m so excited to try this again after we’ve done some more community building, because I know they will do even better!
I found an activity on Twitter the other day, posted by another #5thchat teacher, that I thought would be a great partner thing to try–Saving Sammy! The basic idea is that you have to get a gummy worm (Sammy) into a gummy life saver (his life preserver) so that he doesn’t drown. The only catch is that you can’t use your hands! Instead you have two paperclips as tools. I added in a step at the end for partnerships to write about how they figured out what to do and any advice they had for kiddos trying for the first time. This went pretty well, and they definitely enjoyed it!
If you read our first day post, then you are aware that we eat lunch around dinner time. So on Friday I brought the snacks, which included cantaloupe from Terripin Farms CSA (to which I belong and LOVE!), as well as strawberries and raspberries. These were from the grocery store, but were also tasty. While I am not allowed to share like I would like to (because of school allergy rules), I do what I can. I think there is something great about sharing a meal together, or in this case a snack. Plus, we got to use the new table! Bonus. And yummy! 🙂
More to come…
Even as recently today, we have had some FABULOUS conversations about grit, played Appleletters, done something called 3 Things and 3 Friends, and almost completed some rather involved work with multiple intelligences. I hope to update you on those happenings soon! Please come back soon to visit again and catch up on the great things going on in Rm. 202!