I feel like I owe you an update. I am pretty sure I haven’t share the amazing things happening in our class since Fix-It-Up Friday when we first got serious about our norms and expectations.
Remember this web of mistakes?
Well we did some work and started creating some “We will…” statements that we are committed to living by. The rough drafts started like this:
Over the last few weeks we’ve tried them out and been using them in our conversations. I believe we’ve gotten to our final draft and the norms ended up looking like this:
Don’t they kind of look like super hero words? Like POW! BANG! SPLAT! I’m trying to decide if we should have kiddos illustrate them before we hang them…what do you think? Just not sure if will help or just hinder the message. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the yellow parts as they highlight the important parts of each statement.
Ok, and so what does the title of this post mean–Day 33: Ahhh!?? Well every day we keep track of how many days of school we’ve had, connecting to place value and counting. We add a sticker to a ten-frame that goes on a place value chart and we also write the number of the day.
Ok, so I know–not rocket science and not super exciting, but it was here–on Day 33 (which was last Friday)–that I felt like we’d turned a corner. It was the first day pretty much all year that I felt like we could finally breathe and just say “ahh!!!” Things seem like they are settling down, we are settling in and are becoming a family. We’re working together and we’re finally looking (and more importantly sounding) like a community. It’s pretty great.
BUT I must say it hasn’t come without LOTS of work. We have put in probably at least an hour or more each day teaching, reteaching and practicing what first grade learners look like and sound like. We’ve been learning and using the Robinson Mindset, as well as helping solidify the ideas of our class norms.
One of the most helpful things for us right now has been very concrete, visual versions of the expectations we’ve created together. They hang along the top of our windows, and remind us of what each part of our day LOOKS LIKE and SOUNDS LIKE. We often stop during the middle of a subject or activity and do a reflection on whether this is truly what someone (including us!) would see in the room at that moment. If not, no big deal, the invitation is to FIX IT! Find a way to make things look and sound the right way! We’re right in the middle of our SCIENCE/SOCIAL STUDIES chart, and even have plans for one that demonstrates the line/hallway as well as other places around school.
One more way I know we’re “there?” Kiddos have started using the words we’re practicing! The other day when a friend was interrupting on the rug, Xenia turned to her and kindly said, “We will take turns.” When a friend was not quite with us in a conversation, Ciyah reminded them that “We will listen and follow directions.” What?? This is happening on a regular basis now, as well as friends kindly reminding their friends of what they should be doing instead of whatever undesirable behavior they are engaged in (because “We will remind our friends.”). I am loving how calm things feel and how much more we’re laughing and enjoying each other. The last few days we’ve noted how tired we are at the end of the day–but it’s that good “we’re-pooped-because-we’ve-done-so-many-amazing-learning-things” kind of tried, not the “man-we’re-tired-and-cranky-because-no-one-listened-all-day” kind of tired. Jack suggested that our days have flown by, too, because we’ve been so busy! I don’t know about you but this make my HEART HAPPY!!
Cannot wait to see what the remaining 140something days have in store for us as we have set such a strong foundation for our year! The sky’s the limit in Rm. 202!! Please be sure to come along for the journey. It’s bound to be exciting!!