Ok, so now let’s talk about something that is so super duper important in first grade–quiet. No–not all the time. Actually a lot of first grade is anything but quiet. BUT when we are doing the important work of readers, quiet is imperative.
So early on in first grade we started practicing what we call “quiet time.” During that short time (well, at least in the beginning it’s short, but we will build up as we go further into the year), kiddos are expected to work INDEPENDENTLY on reading or writing activities. They laughed I told them the only reason they should need me is in the case of an emergency–and an emergency meant they were BLEEDING or BARFING! (And yes, at least one kiddo asked me what “barfing” meant. 🙂 )
Everyone got a book box on the first day, and by day 2 or 3 I had filled it with 3 or 4 just-right books (I used data I got from end-of-year kindergarten assessments for this purpose) to get them started. When it was time for quiet time, I gave everyone a 3C spot–which means somewhere that they can be Confident, can Concentrate and are Comfortable–and we got to work. I was really impressed (wow–I think that’s a theme around here) with how great of a job they did!
Check it out!
After our first try at it, we sat down to have a quick reflection time (reflect is a word we’d started talking about on Day 1 and will use it all throughout this year!) about how it went. Here were our thoughts:
On our most recent days of quiet time, we actually put a “school” name to what we were doing and began talking about Read-To-Self. They were experts on this subject–“because we learned about it in kindergarten!”–and we started charted our smart ideas about what it looks like and sounds like. In this conversation I was impressed (again!) when C.J. knew the name for being able to read for a long time was called stamina. Way to go, C.J.! They could also tell me that the reason that we need to practice Read-To-Self is to become better readers. 🙂 We got as far as the “student” side of our chart on Friday and will start working on the “teacher” side once I get rotations up and running next week!
Like I’ve said before, keep up the good work Rm. 202!