It’s been quite a hectic week back in the saddle. Teaching 1st grade is akin to herding cats, but they are coming along. We are re-learning our schedule and focusing our work. Our big goal this week and next is nailing our SSR time – this is self-selected reading. It is challenging to do as we don’t really have the most robust library. It’s also challenging with the books we have to have the kids read for sustained times. Right now, we are working on a weekly-book-shop system. It’s hard since ideally, not each group (there are five) would shop the same days. But the ‘book nook’ is tiny when books are in baskets.
Finally, though, I do have a decent Book Log form for checking in with students as they read. The kids are doing better at reading silently – it is a real challenge for 1st graders.
What I want to do is find some two-gallon zip top bags so each student can have a book bag. The books get pummeled in desks if they aren’t protected. Someday, I hope to have chair pockets – but that’s far in the future.
This weekend is a book sale at the library, and I am hopeful I can get a mess of books there to beef up the library. In addition, the milk crates have really helped it look nicer. I would like some sort of table, still, and need a board of some sort. There’s a table there now that isn’t too nice. Pillows. Those are good, too.
Next, work on the writing starts. Writing is really hard because we are supposed to do the 4 blocks program, and we have good material within Reading Street I think contributes well to it – but we have these assigned units-of-study which (I think) aren’t necessarily developmentally appropriate for the kids. It’s too much at a level we haven’t built to. I have kids who don’t understand how time works (it goes forward!) yet need to write about a “special event!” I think they can write quite well, but am dubious as to the specificity of their memories when they ask me constantly if it is lunch time yet (they do this in the afternoon).
Kids. What can you do? I have some swell kids, though. One is frustrating as he has some real behavior problems which I am trying to work with, but I don’t know. Reading. That’s what it’s all about.