It's Saturday and that means it is time to reflect on the week and celebrate things both big and small. Join our community and celebrate this week by linking up or just stopping by the host Ruth Ayres' blog to read others' celebrations.
My biggest celebration is just a fantastic week at school. Our classroom just seems to be clicking into place. We did the things that matter this week. My students sustained their independent reading and are finishing more books and thinking deeper about them. Our math times went well. Our writing times are fun and productive. We are all enjoying our days at school. Does it sometimes get crazy? Yes, of course. Do the students still manage to drive me nuts some days? Yes. However, the majority of my day is a pleasant and enjoyable experience. This is such a nice situation and it doesn't always work this way. There are two things I did in the last two weeks that I think made a big difference.
First, I changed our morning schedule a bit to start our day with morning meeting instead of starting with quiet work and then doing the meeting. I think this focus on starting with our community has helped some students to center themselves during the day and to work on our shared goal of learning. This little change in our timing seems to have given us a more productive day each day.
Second, I have been working my way through the first Unit of Study for Teaching Reading. I am adapting it slightly since I already had my workshop pretty much set up. However, the language of the unit and the lessons about reading intensely are definitely helping my readers to focus. I need to improve in making sure readers in my classroom have goals that they are working on and keep track of. I also need to improve my record-keeping routines. The Units of Study are helping me with this because they give me the coherence in my teaching to help me get there.
The other fun thing at school is the holiday celebrations. We are doing some fun things as we approach the holidays, including a door decorating contest. It was really fun to brainstorm with my class and to come up with our idea. Yesterday, we spent a lot of the afternoon making the snowflakes and toys and presents and candy canes to put in our North Pole scenes. We also made some elves and Santa and Mrs. Claus. The students are so proud of our efforts and confident that they will win the hot chocolate party. It is a lot of fun!
What do you have to celebrate this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!