Today it rained all day long. That meant that it was an “inside” day at school. Not the best for behavior. For kids to who get three different breaks throughout the day, they were suffering from their captivity! But it was a pretty special day, for other reasons.
I was so impressed with how caring the children were. My mentor must have told my calss about my grandmother, and they all gave me big hugs. One boy even let me snuggle with some of his Angry Bird stuffed animals all day long to help me feel better.
Some students even wrote a few very special and comforting notes for me on the board.
I have such good friends, young and old. They make me 🙂
In the morning, I gave some extra support to a group who needed help with their math assessment. I felt a bit guilty because we were just doing the assessment together, but it seemed like they got the main idea. They just needed some guidance, but in the long run, what they need is some independence.
After break, I did my lesson on recount writing. In the past in noticed some of the kids having a hard time with planning their writing, so I wanted to talk to them about he purpose of writing recounts and why it is good to learn the skill. We talked about how it helps you remember, it retells a story, and it informs people about an experience who weren’t present. I also thought it would be fun for them to get to see some of my writing, so I read them my blog post about my first day at their school. They really enjoyed it since they could relate, but it was a bit too long for them to sit through. I wanted to make sure we talked about how important it is to plan to organize your ideas and details though, so we constructed my plan on the whiteboard. We highlighted the who, what (first, then, next finally), when, and where of the recount, plus my feelings and the conclusion. At this point they were starting to fidget and talk to their neighbor because I had them sitting on the floor for too long. Ooops.
I had them go back to their desks to write a plan about their first day of school. Some students were still writing the outline for the plan while others had all the details filled in. I tried to encourage them to get their ideas down, but it didn’t seem to be working. I can’t sort out what the real problem is. The standardized “plan” they need to use is a bit restricting so after some time, I had them get into groups and share what they were going to write about. This helped to get some ideas verbalized, so they went back to their desks to finish their plan and write. That worked out a lot better. Finally, they were to read through for mistakes and underline the parts they planned. They did well, but there is still room for a lot of improvement. The most difficult thing is that there are just so many needs in my classroom – especially because more than half are English Language Learners. The trouble with writing is that it shows true mastery of a language – but that’s also what’s so great about it.
We had a fun afternoon doing art and music, though they were quite wild and loud. Only to be expected on a rainy day! I think I want to allocate a few “rainy day games” in my toolbelt to do when I know that all hope of learning is lost. But it was a good day, in the end. I can’t believe I only have two more weeks!