This gave me a giggle. Not only have I been the teacher in this video but I have seen similar conversations between students. Enjoy!
Team Awesome, those little sponges, soak up everything (including things we sometimes don't want them to absorb). Mrs. Unsworth has been studying and researching polar animals with them and they remember and recite the most surprising little tidbits that were thought to be over their heads. But interest is a curious thing. Children (and adults for that matter), will persevere at something that is challenging if they have a passion for it. But ask them to try something that they don't see the value in and you will be met with resistance and complaining. Have you ever given a child a book that you have chosen and asked them to read it? Now have them choose their own book, regardless of reading ability and level of text, and they will struggle through it to the end because they not only had a choice of text but chose something that appealed to them. The same is true of activities. Now if we only had to do things we have a passion for in life and not things we dislike....
Book Swap- From January 26-30, students are invited to bring one or two gently used books from home that they no longer use. During the week of February 10-13, students will be able to swap those books with a “new-to-them” book. Since the book exchange won't be taking place for a full week after the collection, I will collect and record the number of books (no more than 2) that students bring in and hand out tokens for the children to choose a new book later. On Wednesday, Feb. 11th at 10:30, Team Awesome will have 15 minutes to select their books.
Hats Off to Literacy - Adults and children alike are encouraged to wear a hat to school for our theme day. A school-side Drop Everything and Read activity will take place at 1:00.
Unplug and Play Challenge - The challenge sheets were sent home last week. Please avail yourselves of some of the free family activities around the city this week- find the list on the inside of the brochure.
Mrs. Unsworth has gradually been increasing the amount of time she is teaching and responsible for Team Awesome. In February she will be accountable for planning, teaching and supervising most of the day. At first the idea had me a bit worried and anxious but Mrs. Unsworth is proving that she is more than competent and ready. And Team Awesome is delighted to have her in class and ask for her when she is elsewhere. You would think that having someone else teaching would free me up to hang out and eat bonbons in the staff room while reading a trashy magazine but not so. I seem to be as busy as ever and am managing to attend to tasks that seldom seem to get done. Having an extra person to help meet the needs of the children has been a boon and not only is Team Awesome enjoying having Mrs. Unsworth, but I am thankful for her energy and cheerful demeanor every day.
From an early age, a child’s search for independence is fueled by the desire to make things happen and to feel competent. A child’s opinion about her capabilities is, to a large extent, based on her parent’s or caregiver’s response to her. As an adult, our role in fostering independence is to provide love and support, encourage exploration and curiosity, teach skills, and allow the child to make appropriate choices within a safe environment. Our enthusiasm for a child’s independent exploration sends a message that these activities are valued by us.
In our classroom, I never do for the children what they can do for themselves. That includes such mundane things as writing their name, sweeping the floor, opening food packages (we use scissors), stacking chairs and putting on outside clothes. Partly it is a matter of survival- there are twenty of them and one of me and having them depend on me for every little thing all day every day would be crazy-making. But mostly it is a matter of providing them with a sense of achievement and success. Giving the children as many opportunities to exercise their quickly developing decision-making muscles helps them gain control over their world and prepares them for a healthy, independent life. And though it may take them longer to do a task that I could do in seconds or minutes, once they realize that the task is their responsibility and they have done it a few times, the fussing stops and they manage to complete it in a reasonably little amount of time thereafter.
Promoting the development of independence, alongside inter-dependence, enables children to become active participants in their own learning as well as active and valued members of a group. Such experiences form the foundation for long-term successful learning, positive self-esteem and future success.
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What a beautiful day! We graph the weather every day as part of our math activities and today was the first sunny day since we have been back to school. We made use of it by spending part of the day outside pushing the Earth Ball around the field with Mrs. Farber's class. Mr. Bowser arranged it and has promised to bring it back in the spring. Yay!
Mrs. Bowden &