Thursday, April 10, 2014

What we've been up to Wednesday... errr... on Thursday!

Here's a peek at what we've been up to this week!

 I shared with you on Monday that we began diving into our -am Word Family for the week. On Mondays, we always complete a picture sort and decide if we hear that the word belongs in our Word Family. On Tuesday, we play a word family game. On Wednesday, we use our knowledge of letter sounds and our Word Family to spell the words we sorted previously. Thursday we complete a Read it, Glue it, Write it sort. Friday we decode -am Word Family words while reading simple sentences and highlighting the words with dabbers.
We have the same routine every week.
Every week.
 I feel this helps them build the skills I am targeting with these activities instead of trying to tackle a new procedure each week. They have prior knowledge and confidence in WHAT they are doing, which helps them focus on HOW to build their skills.

A similar pattern and routine happens with our "Hunk and Chunk" for the week, which just so happens to be -ph this week! These words proved to be very tricky to think of on our own, so this week I started with giving them words and we practiced sounding out each word and "clicking and chunking" each word.

Tuesday we read the version of Goldilocks written by Carayln Buehner and Mark Buehner.
 We analyzed the story elements, retold the story using our felt board and pieces(from Lakeshore), and compared and contrasted the two versions of Goldilocks we had read so far.

We also analyzed the character of Goldilocks in both stories using evidence from the literature!
Yesterday we read this version of Goldilocks by Mo Willems!

We then connected with the text by pretending we were dinosaurs and creating our own trap for Goldilocks!

When I was creating this collage above... it reminded me of one of those pictures with the funny sayings on them..
what are those called?
Well, I wasn't sure.. so I googled it.
It's called a meme, in case ya didn't know.
The internet told me so.
and you can believe it, because I saw it on the internet, I said.
Anyways.. back to what I was saying..
I saw one of those meme thingys the other day that was referring to a child not sitting in their chair and calling out to the teacher.
I chuckled, I did.
Because we all know it happens.
But I didn't chuckle because of the child not sitting in their chair, I chuckled because of the calling out.
Do you know WHY, I ask?
wait for it..
brace yourself..
no, seriously.. brace yourself...
Yup, I said it.
I do not care, I said.
I learned this lesson during my first year teaching.
My goal is NOT for them to sit in their chair.
My goal is for them to learn.
See? I'll post this picture again so you can look... notice how some are kneeling, some are sitting, some are standing?
I decided my first year teaching that I DIDN'T CARE if they were sitting.
You see, I decided right away (after my momma told me a million times since I was little) 2 things are so very true...
1. What you pay attention to grows.
2. You must pick your battles. CAREFULLY.
So, I asked myself these questions...
1. Are they hurting anyone?
2. Are they bothering anyone MORE because they are not sitting in their chair like a 1905 version of a classroom?
3. What is my purpose for their learning? Is it for them to sit in their chair at a 90 degree angle while working?
No. Heck no! I can't even do that.
4. Is it for them to be engaged in their learning?
As long as their chair is pushed in and not a trip hazard, I do not care if they sit criss-cross applesauce on the FLOOR by their seat, as long as they are doing their work.
Shocking, I know.
I decided it didn't matter to me.
I decided if my principal walked into my classroom to observe me, they would not notice if every bottom was touching the chair.
They should notice them learning.
They should notice them working.
This picture I posted on my facebook page today relates to my reasoning behind this..
What is my goal for them at that time?
Does it REALLY matter if they aren't in their chair?
No. Not really.
Because guess what?
When we are taking an assessment and they NEED to sit in their chair, they do!
They know they have the choice any other time, aside from when it is important for us to keep our work a secret from others!
So... now that you think I'm crazy...
here's some inspiration!

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