How special and wonderful it was to see everyone arriving each morning! Some new faces and many “oldies but goodies”! It was so exciting to begin getting to know the new IEK community and I’m looking forward to week two! The first week is all about getting to know each other, ourselves, and our community. We begin building the foundation of our classroom community, culture, and values, so there are several activities we take part in that involve sharing about ourselves and teambuilding. We also started getting into some classroom routines and norms, and although it may not be as entertaining, we also packed in several assessments as a quick kickstart for teachers to begin getting to know the students as learners.
Here are some of the activities of the week (to view the album, just click the link):
When the students first came into the classroom, they put their things away, and found their locker page, which they began to color/design however they liked. Right away students were connecting, laughing, and sharing their thoughts and experiences! We transitioned to Morning Meeting where we played a name game, we learned about Peace Breaths, went over our schedule for the day, and did a warm-up.
We toured around the school; got the inside scoop from Team Free Play about snack, lunch and recess norms; and learned about the location of classrooms, offices, the Innovation Lab, and the bathrooms.
The students shared their book donations! Thank you so much to our IEK families for your generosity! The students are so excited about the books donated. Many of the books have already been snatched up for independent reading time!
We experienced several Interactive Read Alouds that included “Stone Soup,” “Tacky the Penguin,” “Not Your Typical Dragon,” and “The Old Lady Who Named Things.” We learned about and discussed the author’s message and life lessons from all the books.
We discussed our library norms and the students got to choose books from the library to read in any of the many cozy spots in our classroom!
We brainstormed what “teamwork” means to us, and then moved on to the first part of our Community Mural! The Community Mural is a very special project that represents unity, individuality, and teamwork! The first part involves everyone taking part in drawing one continuous line, representing unity. We discussed the symbolism beforehand, and the students worked very hard to make sure we kept that continuous line going! They demonstrated patience, kindness, flexibility, and cooperation!
The second part of the Community Mural is about individuality. The students each had a piece of the mural to color in any way they chose (though we all used the same three colors).
The third part of creating the Community Mural was about bringing back together our uniquely designed pieces into one beautiful piece of art. The students worked as a team to reconnect the pieces into one whole mural, and boy oh boy, did they do an incredible job!!! Everyone worked together to reconnect the pieces and did so in less than 10 minutes!!!! It was incredible to see and demonstrated an unbelievable amount of teamwork, self-control, determination, and patience!!!! What a group of kids!!!
We discussed the value of observing, wondering, and asking questions about our surroundings and took part in a classroom question scavenger hunt! Many of their questions were answered right away, and the rest were collected and will be answered with each passing day. In celebration of the importance of questions, we played the Questions improv game, and 20 Questions.
Lastly, we had our first Engineering and Design special with Mr. Josh! The kids did some expert sawing and demonstrated excellent teamwork! They also helped fill the playground sandbox! Who knew loading, transporting, and unloading sand could be so much fun!
Needless to say, it was a great first week of school!