I just love this time of year. School supplies on sale, teachers all rested, refreshed, and upbeat, and the chance to do it all again, to finally get it right this time. I’ve always liked beginnings. New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday. I love the chance for do-overs. As a constantly disappointed perfectionist, I think I can get it right if I just get one more chance at it! My 7th graders are coming a week from tomorrow. We got class lists today so I have a count and the names. I can’t wait.
I’m trying felt footies to cut down on the noise of the chairs. I don’t know how long they’ll last but they are kind of festive – I did them by team colors so they do brighten up the place. We’ll see if they survive the first day!
Here’s one of the reading nooks. There are also bean bags and body pillows in other spots but not all kids are comfortable with lying on the floor. They held up really well last year so I’m optimistic.
Each paisley curlicue gives a clue about something we will do this year. This one says NANOWRIMO for National Novel Writing Month. I want them to be curious about what’s coming – enough to want to come back next class at least…
Here are a couple of the first day questions: ‘Our class should be ___________ every day.’ and ‘What do you hope to learn this year in English class?’ You can also see the ‘Expert’ hats that say Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, etc. that the kids can wear during Writer’s Workshop. At the top are ‘Ask Me’ lanyards so the kids can have someone to ask when I’m conferencing.
Portfolios waiting to be filled! Last year they were not accessible enough for the kids so they didn’t really take ownership of them. I want these to be used every day so they will be ready for their Student Led Conferences.
I’ve been working on creating the environment that will build our community. Only the kids can tell me if it really works for them, though. On my mark, get set…commence!