Celebration: Monday leads to Friday

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On some Mondays, I question whether I have it together at all. A lot seems to not be yet “in synch” and the previous week feels very long ago. Monday often feels like a warm up, remind ourselves, get it together day. I don’t often say TGIF. But I often think TGMIO. TGMIO = Thank Goodness Monday is Over. Monday is the day when we don’t have the cushion of success immediately behind us. Anxiety is higher. Stamina is lower. Energy is inconsistent. When Monday is under our belt, it’s like the clouds part. The sun creeps in or sometimes it lights up the week bright and strong on Tuesday and holds fast.

That was this week. Monday was a yikes kind of day. Tuesday started a torrent of amazing and I celebrate Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and all of their glory!

A few highlights:

Reading books for our Mock Caldecott competition has been pure joy. Students are so engaged with this! I hear them chatting to each other, “Do you have a top three?” “So now which ones are your favourites?” ” I know my favourites but there are too many of them.” “Oh . . . how are we going to decide?”

Reading Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen was a particularly special experience. We read it last thing Tuesday afternoon. I got to share it with a room of children and four adults (including my parents who volunteer on Tuesdays!) I loved listening to the children’s comments. Even more amusing might have been watching the other adults listen to these comments. I covered the pages in sticky notes – recording all of the utterances. I knew that reading this book aloud to this group of kids was going to be pretty fantastic. It totally surpassed my expectations.

Celebration: Monday leads to Friday There's a Book for That

I celebrate math problem solving and the beautiful mess it creates! On Friday, we were all so lost in our work, we didn’t pay attention to the time. When it was time for library, I just had them all stand up, line up and go. We could clean up later. “Walk away from the math,” I had to prompt. They were so engaged! When the students left (it was my prep) I snapped a picture. I loved the piles of manipulatives, the wipe off boards in use, the way notebooks were pushed together as little groups or pairs had formed to work together. We are mathematicians! We share ideas. We talk. We learn from each other. We take risks. This photo of the “post” math work period, reveals just that. It makes me smile.

Celebration: Monday leads to Friday There's a Book for That

Even though my students are reading nonfiction titles right from September, I always do a big nonfiction launch in Reading Workshop starting in January. We have more guided instruction, more nonfiction book talks than usual, frequent mini-lessons, some nonfiction group activities, etc. Day one was so much fun. I simply put out the baskets everywhere around the room and give the children some recording sheets and send them off to be Fact DetectivesAs they begin looking through books and recording, I am walking around noticing. What books do they gravitate to? Who remembers how to use the features to help them better navigate the texts? Do my new students feel comfortable locating and recording information? It’s noisy. It’s energized. It sets the tone for much more to come.

I love this photo below – she shouted out, “Holy Bagumba! Look how big this boat is!” (Yes, we did just read Flora & Ulysses!)

Celebration: Monday leads to Friday There's a Book for That

As I walked around the room, children were sharing. Not just facts – but their thinking, reactions and questions. With me and with each other.

Celebration: Monday leads to Friday There's a Book for That

There were impromptu fact announcements. Kids would jump up and tell anyone who might be listening, “Listen to this . . . ” “Did you know . . . ?” The best thing? We were listening! “Really? Whoa . . .” “Can I read that book next?” “Ms. Gelson do you have more books about . . .?” 

Celebration: Monday leads to Friday There's a Book for That

And, the excitement continued. The next day in Reading Workshop when everyone was engaged in independent reading, many children pulled nonfiction titles out of their book boxes and continued to read. The little guy below told me: “This book make me fainting.” When I asked him to tell me more, he shared a bunch of “wow” facts and just shook his head as if to say, “I never would have imagined . . . ”

Celebration: Monday leads to Friday There's a Book for That

And again I am celebrating the yoga in our room. It represents community. Focus. Space. Recharging. The children crave it. And thanks to the amazing Miriam who works with me, we are finding time throughout the week to practice.

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Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community! Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks. Read all of the celebrations by following the links shared here.

24 thoughts on “Celebration: Monday leads to Friday

  1. Oh, I know what you mean by the beautiful mess of a math lesson. I once met a teacher who said that he couldn’t let the kids use manipulatives because it distracted them from learning. I have had some parents thinking it is like kindergarten if third graders use blocks or pinboards. I guess they had never experienced and witnessed the rich discussions the hands-on lessons can encourage.

    • The very name – manipulatives – I teach my students that it means that you can manipulate and change your thinking abound as you represent – love when children are unafraid to try problems a variety of ways.

  2. I love seeing kids get so involved with their reading. I really want to see more students use post-its to track their thinking. It’s something I will continue to work on with students. Thanks for posting the pics.

  3. I always smile with joy reading your posts. Imagine how your kiddos feel! So many quotes in this I want to underline but this one impressed me. “Not just facts – but their thinking, reactions and questions. With me and with each other.” That is a biggie! Great week Carrie. Thanks for sharing!
    Julieanne

  4. What a great way to explain Mondays – “Monday is the day when we don’t have the cushion of success immediately behind us.” That’s very insightful. Thank you for sharing so many exciting moments from your classroom. Whenever I see your posts, I want to switch back to classroom teaching.

  5. I can’t even tell you how much I love seeing those yoga pix. Why isn’t this happening in more classrooms? I wonder how school would feel for my older son if there were movement and mindfulness breaks in his day. Totally different, I’m thinking. I will be reading Sam & Dave in the next week or so in my Children’s Lit class and I cannot wait!

    • We need to do regular activity and mindful breaks more than once a day. We do mindful breathing 3 x a day and try to do yoga 2-4 times a week. When the weather gets nicer, we do it outside.

  6. Carrie, I loved your title. It sounds like you had a great week and I love when the learning is messy. Even on a bad week, this title works Monday always leads to Friday. Thanks for sharing so many highlights each week. Do you have a yoga resource you use?

  7. Our Librarian is so amazing, he has organized a Mock Caldecott for us. I get to start reading this week. I wanted to share that as I focus on writing more this year, your blog has inspired me to always make sure I’m sharing something about what we are reading in our classroom. I love practicing some yoga poses with my kids each day. We start each morning with practicing one pose. What age are you teaching again? This post describes beautifully what happens in a week!

    • I look forward to hearing about the choices on your Caldecott! My children are LOVING it. We vote Tuesday. I have a Grade 3/4 this year. Many of these children were in my class last year when it was a 2/3/4 so we have a lovely community. Yoga is really magic in a classroom.

  8. We start the week on Monday, get all the goals made, etc. It’s always a tough beginning & then students settle, the work begins, & I can say (to myself) ‘ah-h-h’. So much is going on & I love your ‘messy’ classroom. How awful for the lined-up desks & the students who have to just listen. Glad it was a good T, W, Th, Fr, Carrie.

    • Thanks Linda and I get that “ah-h-h” 🙂 I know – I often think about desks in rows and what that would be like for kids today. I know it is the reality still for many. I only experienced that once in Elementary school when I was a child. It was so solitary. So foreign.

  9. Wonderful peek into your week! Love seeing the math learning and listening in on the conversations around nonfiction books. So fun to hear their enthusiasm for learning. I celebrate your words that Tuesday started a torrent of amazing. I like your acronym TGMIO – hope your Monday is a bit better this week!

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