Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hopes and Dreams Part 2

We are full into our first 20 days of community building and learning together.  Yesterday I was blessed with some time to benchmark and sit one on one with many of my little friends.  I learned so much about family pets, hobbies, favorite books.  I also learned more about more of their individual preferences and personality traits that make my friends tick.  I love getting to know them.

With this information, comes the gravity of what we are about to accomplish this year.  Last night, I went to bed feeling like this:

Yikes!  There is A LOT to do!

As always, a good night's sleep (and a good cry while watching "Teach", the documentary) and I'm up again feeling like this:
Come on friends!  We can do this!

So, I revisit what needs to happen for my students.  This has gotten real.  Hopes and Dreams--Part 2 (Part One is linked here:

1.  Inquiry based learning
This continues to be a must.  We've dabbled in asking questions and exploring in our classroom.  I believe that I will need to reference (have on my desk at all times) this book:

Run right out and buy this book.  I'll wait.  

Collaboration and inquiry aren't going to be an option in my classroom this year.  It will be a must.  My friends are active, curious, vibrant and need to share their learning.  I would love to hear from anyone who has truly mastered this culture in their classroom.  

2.  Authentic use of technology
Again, the use of technology has always fostered collaboration in my classroom.  It will be necessary to use technology to dig deep into what they are learning.  This book will also be an extension of me this year:
Buy this one too.  I'll wait.

This book has allowed for some authentic work in comprehension of text.  I've adapted and used some lessons already this year.  It was at these times I have seen the vibrancy and love of learning shine through.  

3.  Room arrangement
Movement won't be a reward.  It can't be.  Last spring, my teaching team (who is awesome--another blog post for another time to bask in their awesomeness) and I decided to take the leap and get rid of traditional seating.  We loved it.  This year, I will need to continue to pursue this arrangement.  I will need a space with places to collaborate.  These friends will also need places where they can work, collaborate and hold their bodies in a way that is comfortable for them while they are working.  Thanks to those of you on Twitter who have been willing to share your room arrangements with the world.  As I have been starting this school year, they have been an inspiration.  Stay tuned for pictures as this project moves forward.  

So.  The sun is coming up, and so that means it's time to run before the Midwestern heat takes over.  Now that you are getting to know your friends, what is on your mind?  Are your August dreams the same?  Have they shifted now that you know your friends?  What are you hoping to accomplish this year?


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