I linking up a
little late .... ok two weeks late but better late than never right?!?! I've been super sick the last few weeks and I'm finally getting busy on my summer to-do list. My favorite part about summer is getting to really read again. I have so many books on my to-read list and summer is the perfect time to finally read some of them.
One of the first professional development books that I'm reading this summer is Debbie Miller's "Teaching with Intention". I'm very excited to link up with the one and only Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard for his book study.
Here are my reflections on Chapter 1...
Chapter 1 talks about the ideal classroom. I LOVE the third grade classroom that Debbie Miller talks about in chapter 1. The classroom was child centered and one where the students were taking charge of their own learning. It is definitely a classroom that I would hate to leave and one that I would love for my sons to be in one day...or one just like it!
My number one goal each year is to create a classroom environment that will make my students feel safe to take risks and know that they have choices in their learning. I want people to feel that the moment that they walk into my classroom.
In my ideal classroom, the students are working independently and are engaged in conversations about their learning. I LOVE working in small groups and while my students are working independently, I'm working with others in a small group. I also love walking around the classroom and participating in their conversations. I love asking questions and being there to push them in their thinking.
I LOVE anchor charts....the problem is where to put all of them without making my room look super cluttered. I created this super easy anchor chart storage by just using sentence strips and two clothespins. I have taught my students that they can easily flip up the anchor charts to see the one that they need.
I LOVE the super cute anchor charts, but I've learned that simple ones get the job done too! I create my anchor charts WITH my students and one thing that I'm working on for next year is to have student input and writing on them as well. That definitely will help with my ideal classroom that I described above.
Independent Reading ChoiceI passionately believe that the ideal classroom NEEDS to have a welcoming and engaging classroom library. Most importantly one that offers my little readers with CHOICE. I don't organize my books in just one way and I LOVE that. I have books organized by level (they are in the magazine holders with the black dot labels), chapter books (they are in the bins to the left), books organized by genre (they are in the bins to right), and books we are currently reading (they are in the library shelf), and of course big books (they are on the floor in the big blue tub).
It might seem like the books are organized in too many different ways, but it works friends. It gives my students CHOICE and when we are learning about the different genres it helps a lot. It breaks my heart when my students come in from first grade and they can't tell me the title of their favorite book. I work all year to change that and so far each year they always leave with at least one favorite book that they can tell me by heart.
I also give my students choice in book clubs. They vote on the books that we read and they have conversations about each of the books. This year their favorites were Nate the Great and Mercy Watson. I mean a pig that eats toast and has her own room. Who wouldn't LOVE that?!?!
I'm the queen of organization y'all! I don't think I could function in a room that wasn't organized. I mean I do have piles of stuff, what teacher doesn't, but my room is super organized other then my few piles.
That's super easy...letting go! I love how Greg described how he is a "guide on the side". I do that about 50% of the time but I need to learn to let go a little more and let my students take charge of their learning more. I definitely need some tips and tricks on that one. I hate to say it but I need control. I just need to let go more!
Also, displaying student work. I do great at the beginning of the year and then I notice it's December and my students' work from September is still hanging up in the hall. Am I alone in this?
Thanks for reading about my reflections of chapter 1.
Make sure you head over to the chapter 1 hosts' blogs to link up with your reflections of chapter 1.