We read a book lately that perfectly went along with our focus on play, grit and creativity (wow, that’s quite a first grade trifecta!):
It’s favorite that I found last year (and was so good that I started the whole year with it!), and as Ms. Turken and I planned our first days, we knew it HAD to make an appearance again this year.
The preparation for this project started weeks before we started, with the collection of boxes. Lots and lots of boxes of all shapes and sizes.
As we read the book together, we noticed what was happening in the child’s imagination and were thinking about how we’d answer the question: “What would you do with a box?” Which by the way, is NOT the title of the box, but is somehow the way I read it EVERY SINGLE time I look at the front of it. Weird. Maybe I just want it to be an invitation instead of a direction. 🙂
So after we read, kiddos made plans for which box they’re use and how they’d use it. This was not a typical design challenge in the fact that they could use whatever they wanted as far as materials, and the only real constraint was time. And wow–there was creativity all over the room! Check it out!
Now, as with many of the things we do in the beginning of the year are dual-purposed. We are learning how first grade works at the same time as we’re using our creativity and having fun. What usually happens is that we have a debrief about how each activity went, and we chart plusses (what went well) and deltas (things we should change for next time). This helps us become (and hopefully stay!) aware of how to manage our behavior. We had done this a couple of times, but with this project, Ms. Turken and I decided to tweak the wording just a bit.
We’ve been talking alot at Robinson this year about expected (and therefore unexpected behaviors), as a means of helping students to better understand how to “be a Roadrunner and show it all the time” as our mindset suggests they should do.
We added in specific behaviors to focus on and so these are what we analyzed during our debrief. We were noticing that some of our friends are using the words “good” and “bad” when speaking of their choices and we wanted to help connect all of our behavior expectations together. You’ll notice on this chart that there was some AMAZING stuff happening during this project and kids were ROCKING those expected behaviors!
I’ve been really impressed since this discussion as I’ve both seen many more expected behaviors, as well as hearing kiddos using the language with their peers and as we talk about our day and how we can be our best learning selves. Whew! Who knew there was so much to learn with a BOX?!