Time There is only so much of it in each school day.
I always tend to get introspective after a few days away from the classroom so part way through Spring Break I have been thinking about things . . . Specifically what matters in terms of time and how we spend it? What are the things I really want to honour? What things need to be happening?
Here’s my list
Make the Time . . .
There needs to be happiness and celebration as we learn. In our classroom, this is where we begin.
We have a Gratitude Circle at least once a week where we share something we feel grateful about. Sharing our happiness and what we appreciate is a gift to others. Gathering in a circle to breathe, share and be calm is powerful. Especially on Halloween 🙂
Play happens daily in our classroom. It lets us get creative, solve problems, practice negotiation and always, helps to build our social skills. Plus, of course, it is FUN!
To Be Lost in a Book
I always say, “Being lost in a book is the best place to be.” If there is lots of time for reading, there is more likelihood this will happen. Often.
To Read Aloud
Read aloud builds community. And of course so many amazing literacy skills are practiced: listening stamina. appreciation for the sound of language, sense of story, inference and prediction skills, etc.
To Calm and Regroup
Sometimes after very exciting activities (like pumpkin carving) we need down time (like reading to our pumpkins). Balance.
We do mindful breathing three times a day. When our K/1 buddies come up for buddy reading, we participate altogether. This daily time to center and focus means something.
Some of the best teaching is not done by me.
For Time Spent with lots of Adults
Lots of interactions for many reasons. Here is a student sharing his great reading with supervision aides and office staff just before recess.
For Time with Different Ages
Playtime outside with our K/1 buddies = lots of fun. Building relationships is what it is all about.
For the Mess
When we do interesting things and make discoveries, there are things everywhere. Clean up is easy. Thinking is messy.
To Switch it up
Sometimes, we need to abandon a lesson and go in a different direction. Here I had planned a place value review. The students needed to be architects. So we were architects and we demonstrated our knowledge of hundreds, tens and ones the next day.
To Work Together
Great learning happens when we stand back and let the children figure it out together. And of course wearing blue lab gloves and working with fancy coloured water makes it all the more interesting . . .
Because it happens. We get sad. Mad. Frustrated. Grumpy. Mean. We are a community and we need to weather it together. The learning is in the acceptance, the forgiveness and the moving on.
These are fifteen things I value.
Also significant? What I didn’t put on the list . . .
What about you? What would be on your list of what matters? Please share in the comments!