Friday, August 14, 2015

Back to School Thoughts

When do you start school? I don't know about you, but I always feel like it's such a rush getting everything ready and the first 6 weeks of the year are the most intense! I'm so excited to meet my new little loves!

I am just giving a short and sweet shout out to you as you embark on a new school year and share a few tips on my mind. I will be BACK very soon with a detailed post(s) about social emotional read alouds and activities to create the caring classroom you need! So please come back throughout the first few weeks of school.

Teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world! We spend every day lighting up the lives of others. We love our students for who they are, the unique personalities they bring to the world, and even the challenges we help them overcome. We stretch our creativity and exercise our endurance as we create loving relationships, a warm learning environment, and engaging lessons. Best of all, we have 20 some little hearts and minds in our classroom every day to love!

Relationships are the CORE of my first 6 weeks of school. Forming those close bonds with students helps set a foundation we can grow on and helps the children truly love school.

Second to relationships, I teach my students how to be really good listeners! I read them lots of books, but the best book is Whole Body Listening Larry at School. It introduces how to be a Whole Body Listener and we make our own Whole Body Listening Chart with pictures of the children modeling the core components! I also read them Lacey Walker Non-Stop Talker.  This year I am going to use Mr. Potato Head as a memorable visual of Whole Body Listening for each part of your body that needs to be engaged.

We build a caring community through more social emotional read alouds and activities! The most important read aloud is How Full is Your Bucket? We create our own poster for how to be a bucket-filler in our classroom and launch a bucket-filling system that encourages and celebrates kindness in our classroom. To find out more about this system, click HERE.

"All About Me" activities help students get to know the details of each other and have a special place within the caring community. One of the All About Me activities my students will do is "Me Bags." In the "Me Bag" the students bring in 4-5 objects or pictures to share with the class to help us get to know them. For example, they might bring a baseball, family picture, pet picture, etc. I just send home a brown bag and a note.

I always read Amelia Bedelia's First Day of School and First Day Jitters during the morning on the first day to help the kids settle in, laugh, and relate to all the emotions of the first day!

What are you most excited for in your first week???


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