04 Sep

Two Weeks In

We’re coming to the end of our second week of school, and what a two weeks it’s been!

I’ve learned so very much in the past two weeks.  The kids are finally getting to a place where they know enough for us to really start learning.  We’re practicing close reads, and they’re coming together quite nicely.  We’ve made progress in math, but at the same time, we’re still struggling.

I’m figuring things out, and making tons of mistakes.  I’m choosing to see these as “teachable moments” in order to create a classroom culture of risk-taking.  I apologize for my mistakes and vow to do better.  I think they like me better for this, though I wish I hadn’t made the mistakes in the first place.  Still, I know what I teach my students: mistakes are evidence of learning.

The room is the same and different all at once.  I shot a few pictures to share with you.  First, I want to make sure you understand that these are real life pictures, taken right before I left for the day, but before our cleaning staff had come in.  To an extent, I say this because I don’t want you judging things.  But I’m also saying this because I’m very proud of how clean my students keep our classroom.

Here’s a shot of the library:

Classroom Library - 9-2

The book bins are a lot less organized than they were two weeks ago.  I’m very much ok with that.

And here are some desks and my guided reading area:

Desks - 9-2

We’re starting to get anchor charts up.  The desks are certainly not in their original positions.  My back counter is thoroughly messy, which is inevitable, I guess.

Getting the kids to make good choices is an ongoing struggle.  The idea that it’s not all about punishments is new for some of these kids, I think.  Example: at the end of math, I always have kids check their work on the math problems we did that day, checking what they got correct, circling ones that are incorrect.  I told the kids this doesn’t go in my gradebook, it’s just so that we can see what we still have to work on.  Still, I’ve got one student who fills in the answers as I give them to them, marking her answers all correct.  I think I get the cliche, “all you do is cheat yourself”.  If she had gotten away with it, I wouldn’t have known she needed help.

But we’re starting to create a community.  They’re starting to trust me.  Not all of them, but a lot of them.  They’re making better choices each and every day.  We’re coming along.

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