Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ready for the First Day! 8 Things I Hope to Remember..

A view of our new furniture!

Another view of the classroom.

Tomorrow is the first day of school and I am excited, nervous, and happy, but most of all, feeling that "butterfly-stomach" anticipation of a new beginning with my incoming 4th graders.

As  I try not to let my mind rest on, "Oh my gosh, what did I forget to do," I am taking this opportunity to remind myself of my intentions for tomorrow.

  1. First, and foremost, I want my students to feel the warmth of the classroom environment. I want them to sense the welcome, to know that the space belongs to them.
  2. I want to be calm and present with each student as I learn his/her name. 
  3. Even though the beginning of school comes packed with discussions about classroom expectations, I want to allow room for spontaneity and playfulness as we go about our day.
  4. Daily reflection will become a part of our routines, with exit ticket type survey questions as a way for me to check in on the class and determine if any individual needs more attention from me. 
  5. Making mistakes, celebrating them, and learning from them will become commonplace as I model my own silly mistakes on the first few days. 
  6. Developing a class culture that promotes authenticity and risk-taking in learning will take time. I need to allow time for a daily class meeting to build rapport and trust, encourage collaboration, and help students refine their voices.
  7. Students will be more anxious than I am! I need to validate the range of feelings that returning to school can evoke.
  8. Parents will want to know what is going on in class. I intend to blog about our learning more often this year and share the great insights of our students.
What is first and foremost in  your mind as you begin the school year? 

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