I was up in my classroom on this rainy Sunday evening, attempting to make a dent in what I need to have prepared for the week when I remembered that I should post something new and exciting to our First Grade Fan Club blog. Hmmmm....something exciting on a rainy day....what could it be? What could it be? I looked around the room, congratulating myself for cleaning up the place on Friday before I left rather than leaving it for later....it looked as if homecoming and Halloween exploded in my room and there were bits and pieces of it everywhere. Bits and pieces....I started looking around and thinking that there are several bits and pieces in the room that are exciting to me as the teacher. I don't know if YOUR socks will be blown off, but mine were! My students started writing focused pieces last week -- we went from writing two words about something to writing four sentences in a week! I was proud of that! We paired up our cat writing with a water color painting -- I love how we all painted the same thing, but each one looks so different from the next. We also did a pumpkin writing. I had students re-write and illustrate the writing. We hung them on the wall and they are all proud. I also noticed our Writing Pride wall is full -- each child is coming to me daily with something else they have written -- whether it be a little book about farm animals or all of our word wall words copied down -- they are excited to write, which gets me excited! We also had an afternoon last week where the weather ruined our Science plans, so we had to come up with a Plan B. My Plan B is always ART. :) I can't help it. We made some quick scarecrow paintings and again...they are all so creative. I'm was also made very proud this past week with my students and how they conduct themselves during our (modified) Daily Five. They are expected to work independently -- and that scared me to death at first. But, I decided to just let them go and see how they would do with such a responsibility: they did great! My socks were blown clear across the room! First grade is all about change and it all happens at a fast pace -- if you blink you might miss some of the most important bits and pieces!
The classroom is quiet. The kids have gone home. I'm sitting here eating my almonds and looking out over the room. I love seeing the "aftermath" of a great day: new writing hanging up on the Writing Pride wall, all GREEN cards looking at me from the behavior chart, things put back in the actual places they belong, and a nice stack of papers for me to check. The room is now empty, but I can still hear the voices of little learners coming to me with their work held up in my face, asking me to look at what they accomplished. I smile at the thought of my little mover & shaker sitting still for 24 minutes and busily completing his work. I've never seen such a look of concentration on his face. When he finished I praised him for such great work and asked him how he felt. "I feel pretty good!" he replied. I gush at the moment today when members of our classroom started to tell another student that they "believed he could do it" when the student was feeling he had enough work for the day. I grin at the thought of my little girl who has such a hard time sharing offering her snack to a student who came without today. Yes, she offered because she "hates those darn cheese things," but the fact is: she SHARED. It's days like these when I look around the room after the kids have gone home, smile and I think, "Yup. I'm a teacher."