Thursday, August 25, 2016

Classroom Culture

One of the most important things that happens at the beginning of each year is the setting of expectations. I like to put my students in charge of how our classroom is run (with some limits, of course!), and want their input on what will make this a successful year.

We began with a Classroom Culture Gallery Walk. The students answered answering six prompts - What do I hope to learn this year? What can Mrs. May do to help me be successful? What do I have to do in order to be successful? School should always be ________. School is important because _________. What should students in our classroom be doing to make our classroom run as smoothly as possible?

After every student had answered the prompts, we did a gallery walk around to look at the different responses. These responses led to the creation of our Classroom Culture Code. I got this idea from a teacher blog several years ago, but cannot remember whose in order to credit it. If you know, please let me know!

Later this week we worked on center expectations. Each student wrote five ideas regarding effective center time. After they wrote their ideas, they got into groups and tried to categorize and title their ideas. When they were finished, we combined them into our Center Time Rules. This idea came from my summer professional development with Anne Davies and Sandra Herbst.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Happy New Year!!!

Here's to new beginnings! One of the biggest perks of being a teacher is that every year is a fresh start! Everything is shiny and new, and it's a great time to reinvent ourselves and remember why it is we do what we do. My personal goal is to get better and better. I never want to stop growing, both as a teacher and as a person. So my "New Year's Resolution" every year is simple - be better than you were last year.

Four years ago I created this blog, as my resolution was to become an even better communicator. I keep this blog and send the link, along with class information, every Friday in my weekly e-mail to parents. A great deal of what we do is in our journals, so this blog has been a great way for parents to see what we're doing in class. I'll post picture examples of our activities every week. So please enjoy the picture evidence of the amazing thinking going on in the 4th grade!! Happy New Year!!!