The first week of school…exciting, exhilarating, exhausting! Exactly as I expected and so much more. After all the preparation and anticipation, the big day finally arrived last Wednesday. I welcomed 29 students into our fifth grade classroom. What a great group of kiddos they are!!!! I was amazed at how smooth our start-up was this year. Hopefully the smooth start is a good sign of what lies ahead. My class earns marbles for awesome behavior in our classroom and around the school. On the first day they had earned SIX marbles before 10:00 a.m. WOWEE!!!
Once we had settled in and gotten to know each other, the teaching finally began. I absolutely loved the first days of teaching. I felt like I was “home again.” I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I was back in front of my class, doing what I love to do…aaahhhhh!!!!
My first week teaching highlights are many, but I’d like to share how excited I am about launching the Writer’s Notebook. Thanks to Dr. Biggs-Tucker for sharing all of these amazing ideas and activities with our masters class, this process has been very smooth! Both my students and I have loved all the start-up activities we have done. We started by reading from some mentor texts (I chose Stephanie’s Ponytail by Robert Munsch, Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox, and Wallace’s Lists by Barbara Bottner). Each of these books provided us with a hearty discussion about what writers do, where they might get their ideas, and how they capture those ideas. I distributed notebooks to each of my students and we talked about decorating them with items that are special to them. We watched a fabulous Writer’s Notebook video on YouTube by Ruth Ayres (author of Day By Day) on how she fills her notebooks. Then, we read the Introduction chapter from Ralph Fletcher’s book, A Writer’s Notebook, about what a Writer’s Notebook is and what it is not which lead to a great class discussion. And today, we completed our heart maps which helped us focus on the people/places/things we love most in the world. The enthusiasm toward writing in my classroom is inspiring! I can’t wait to reach new writing heights this year!