Thursday, December 18, 2014

4 Ways We Are Taking Care of Each Other This Week.

Winter Break is coming.  I have mixed emotions this year about winter break.  Am I anxious to rest?  Yes.  Am I anxious about many of my students and what will happen?  More than I ever thought I could be.

Some are anxious.  Some are tired.  Some aren't healthy right now.  (Flu be gone!)

As I learn and respond to what my students need as we approach break, I'm staying in our routine as much as possible.  But I'm also thankful I have these 4 strategies to help me out as I work on taking care of my students this week.  (And every week!)

1.  Academic Quiet.

I read about Academic Quiet in this article.
In our classroom several options are available:

  • The use of Wonderopolis to feed curiosity.  Kids draw, write, hypothesize as we study images. 
  • Reading.  Always reading.  
  • Resting if they wish.  
We try to keep this at 10 minutes, usually after a recess.  It's also a great time to use the restroom, drink water, and eat snacks.
During this time, I make time for strategy two.

2.  2 x 10  

Each day I try to spend 2 minutes each with a group of 5 kids; in a one on one setting.  Of course that's not the true strategy, but I wanted a structure to reach all students; not just the "tough ones."  The question, "How are you?" has lead to an array of stories, solved recess situations, and has brought me closer to my students.  Read more about 2 x 10 here.

A tried and true strategy in my classroom.  This month, we are partner sharing during share time so everyone has a chance to speak everyday. 

4.  Choice, choice, choice.  

There is choice in where to sit.  Choice in our math workshop.  Choice in how to create using technology.  Kids can learn self-regulation through choice.  (A belief statement.)  When the choice isn't working, it becomes a teaching point rather than a punitive measure.  But more often than not, the choice works.  

How are you taking care of each other this week?  (Or any week!)  
If you have a break coming up, I hope it's restful for you!


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