This week I read the Chapters 3 & 4 in the book And with a Light Touch. The focus of the chapters is Environment and Tone. These are the perfect chapters for teachers to read and reread this time of year, as we are getting ready to set up our classroom and prepare of our new students.
Chapter 3 was title Classroom Climate. Carol writes about the importance of involving the children in the decision making process in the classroom from the very beginning. She writes about the importance of creating routines in the classroom. She writes about the importance of the teacher’s tone. What kind of teacher are you? The type that rules the kingdom and the subjects just do what they are told. Are you the type of teacher who creates a million activities to keep the children busy? Or are you the type of teacher who listens and observes the students and believes that you learning along with the children?
This is the point that stuck with me:
We work together, we are a learning community.
I’ve heard this before, but it is a good reminder as I get ready to begin the year. I love the word community. It is a word that pops up in our Religion, Science and Social Studies books.
How do you teach children what a community is and how to be part of one? At the first grade level Carol suggests through literature and daily modeling.
She begins her year with having the students create the class rules. She of course guides them in positive phrasing however she lets them feel as though they are in charge of the rules. All classrooms have the same basic rules: We are kind to each other and we work hard together.
My plan for the first day of school…………I am going to guide my students to help them create classroom rules as well. We will write the rules on chart paper so we can remember them. Then on the second day I will tell my students that I took all their ideas and created a poster of First Grade Rules….
I plan on combining two of my ideas from the past, faces and names. The students will create their faces and we will put them around this poster I found at eighteen28 to show we are a community together.
Then we will decorate our names and put them around our new rules to show we will do our best to follow them.
Chapter 4 is all about Planning and Preparing
Thinking about how you set up your classroom and how you manage your lesson plans and records.
Carol’s main point is keep your room kid friendly. Don’t spend a lot of time over decorating your classroom; just set up the basics and let the kids take part in the rest. She said she can set up her classroom in one weekend! Wow, that is something to aim for.
Next Week's Reading is all about Writing in the Classroom. Sounds Good!