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One Month Into School

We’ve been in school about a month now.  As is typical of the beginning of the year, it’s been hectic.  Setting up classroom routines and norms takes a lot of time and effort.

One of the things we did the first week was to create affirmations.  We did this activity after reading and discussing an article about brain gardening.  It was such a fabulous piece of text and helped us understand how our brains are physically affected by affirmations and “killer statements,” those things that stymie learning.

The day of our Open House, I finally got around to stapling the affirmations to a bulletin board.

I know the board is a bit of a hot mess.  If you’ve ever studied how boys learn, this sure isn’t the way (they need things framed in an organized manner).

However, I was in a bit of a hurry, and I wanted to get everyone’s statements posted.

Next year, I’ll probably have cutouts of flowers so students can write in the center of them for a more “garden-y” look.

Thank heavens there wasn’t a Bulletin Board 101 class in college.  I fear I would have failed.


Here’s what my guided reading table looked like a couple of hours before Open House.

I had decided to just stay at work when school ended so I could grade MAZE assessments.  Oy vey.  I worked for over two hours and didn’t even finish!


Skipping along a couple of weeks…

On Tuesday, I administered a Text Features summative assessment after spending two and a half weeks on this unit.  To review for the test, I found a Kahoot that was already created and edited it a bit to suit my needs.

I was so excited as students came into class that day because I knew how much fun they were about to have.

It was their first experience using my Chromebooks and their phones (for academic purposes) in my class.

They went crazy over the game; their competitive sides really came out.

They might have made a lot of noise.  Thank heavens for the concrete wall that separates my room from the computer lab next door.

We wound up playing the game again a couple of days later when students asked.  They said it was much better than a standard review.  Can you believe that some students still got some answers wrong on the game?!  It was one last chance to clear up some misunderstandings.

As you can see, we’ve been hard at work and playing a bit (hello Friday night football).

We’re off to a great start, and I couldn’t be happier.

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