I basically powered through that three-day weekend, staying busy to not only get everything ready, but also to avoid sitting still long enough to really feel upset. I kept repeating to myself, "It is what it is," and soon enough, the room was ready and so was I.
The first two weeks of school have been exciting, exhausting, and exhilarating. My new partner has been wonderful, and we're making quite the team. My big focus this year is Writers' Workshop, and our school's focus is Thinking Maps. Both have been amazing! Here are some samples of each...
Writers' WorkshopWe started on day 1 for this one. I am using Jennifer Jacobson's model and loving it so far.
No More, "I'm Done!": Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary Grades
We start with a mini-lesson, model, write, and conference. One part that I love is the "Quiet Ten" time which is ten uninterrupted minutes of writing- for the students and me. We've made two anchor charts so far, and I think I'll aim for one a week.
This is one that I copied from Laura at http://laura-armstrong-martinez.blogspot.com/. I wrote the title beforehand, but brainstormed with the kids before writing the "rules." Since making and posting the chart, this has become my students' mantra...and they are absolutely coloring better than any other first-week-class I've had!
Next week we will talk about what writers write. I plan to bring in a number of things for examples and label them on our new anchor chart. I will post it soon :)
Circle MapsOur school's big focus this year is Thinking Maps. I use a flow map every day for our schedule and each student has a personal one for rotations. They are MAGIC! Our implementation plan is to introduce one map a week, but we can also use the other maps during that time. The goal is that by the end of the week, the kids know the specific map of the week, how to use it, and how to draw it. We used circle maps all week. Our first was about Pete the Cat, then Froggy, then me, and we ended the week by making one about ourselves. Here are some samples (unfortunately in black and white).
All the kids had "Bobcat" because that is our school mascot. I love how this student not only drew the paw print like me, he also added claws!
This friend has some definite fine motor issues, but also a lot of clear ideas. He told me about his car and how it was broken in a crash. He drew as he told me and although it isn't the happiest memory, it is something important to him and shows that he understands what the assignment was.
This was done by one o my higher friends, and as you can see, there is more detail in the pictures. I love that the kids included all parts of their lives...breakfast, family, accessories...so wonderful!
Next week we move on to bubble maps. I'm a little worried since not all of my kiddos can draw a circle let alone several, but I'm sure it be great. This past week and a half has well-exceeded my expectations so I'm excited for more!