The room is
mostly put together. The pencils are sharpened (well because they came that way!). We’ve met each other and seen our new space. We are all finally here. It’s the 1st day of 1st grade and we’re ready for a great year!!
I want to take a few minutes in this first post to welcome you to my blog (if you’re new) and welcome you back (if you’ve been here before). I want to start our year (or maybe longer!) off with a little bit of rationale for how I hope this conversation will go, as well as for the purpose of this blog. I hope that it will help you as you navigate through our 1st grade journey to better understand why I write what I write here. 🙂 .
I could tell the long story about how I started and how this blog has changed over the last 7 years (and you know, that story is probably already posted here somewhere!), but instead I’ll just jump into the here-and-now and tell you that most of all I am here because I love teaching. I love kids and spending time with them everyday, hearing their thinking, getting to know their hearts, watching them discover new things. I am also here because I love to write. I have found that writing is a very powerful and important way for me to process and reflect upon what happens in our classroom, and helps me to improve my technique and then do better for the next time.
So, as you read posts here, you will notice a couple of things about what I write. First of all, I tend to go deep. Rather than tell you about a whole week’s worth of learning or activities in one post, I’ll dig down and just focus on ONE THING at a time. I like to tell the WHOLE story, usually with a backstory, and often with ideas for where I’ll go next. I like to include pictures and videos so you can see what happened and/or highlight some super smart thing a kid did or said. I will almost always tell you why we did what we did and explain my rationale behind it or my thinking about the purpose. Oh, and I will probably tell you about what DIDN’T work.
Aside from my own process and reflection, I want this blog to be an open-door peek into what happens in Rm. 111 every day, especially for those of you who send your babies to me each morning and wonder what happens all day. I want you to be able to imagine what it would be like to be a first grader at Robinson, and also to get a bigger picture of how and what your kiddos are learning. I hope to give you enough detail that you can ask your learner questions and get a conversation going around your dinner table–so that you hear more than just “it was good” when you ask about school. 🙂 Additionally, I hope that others who read this blog (who don’t have kiddos in Rm. 111) will get a picture of what is happening in our school, in our district, in our state, and maybe using that to inform what happens in your own classroom or learning space. I hope to be an inspiration to other educators, like so many have been to me over the years. How lucky we are that technology is such that we can reach into places so far away and connect with them so easily!
Lastly, I want to emphasize that I want this blog to be a place of CONVERSATION! If you have a question, please ask it! If you have a comment, please write it! If you see a cute picture of your kiddo and you want to say hi to them, wave away! If you have a suggestion for how we could do something better, please leave it! I know that the best years on 20somethingkids have been when parents, teachers, students and even strangers have been connected in conversations about learning–we all got smarter and were so much better for it! Ok, and of course, then, if I’m inviting you to connect with us, I’m also asking that you do it kindly. 🙂
So…that hopefully has gotten us off on a good foot and we are ready for a fabulous first grade year together. But wait–I haven’t shown you anything about this year’s bunch of super smart, super funny, super creative learners in Rm. 111 yet. So, here they are, ready to jump into this new journey. Look how proud they are. 🙂
Hi, Rm. 111 friends! (We are missing one friend in this picture–Will–and will post another version of this soon with ALL of our friends. SORRY!!)
Ok, and then another thing I’ve started doing every year is making sure to get a first day and last day pic to show how amazingly kiddos have grown in just one short year. They always come as babies and leave as such big kids!! Here’s our first day pics from August 15, 2018. 🙂 (And…just as I’m collecting them all I realize there was a different friend who was not here! I’ll add him when I can get back to my book wall tomorrow! My apologies–first graders don’t stay put for very long!! lol)
Whew! Man…sometimes the first post is the hardest! We’re off and running and here we go into a busy, busy year! I already have like 17 blog posts I want to write–hopefully most of them will show up here. 🙂
And to get our conversation started: please leave your name and tell us from where you are reading our blog. We’ve had readers from as far away as Australia and China in the past and it’s a BLAST to see how far our words and pictures stretch. If you’re a family member of a Rm. 111 friend, leave a note and give them some advice for a great learning year. And no matter who you are, thanks for being here and taking time to peek into our first grade world! 🙂