Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Had a Flow Kinda Day

Had an Flow kinda day yesterday with a couple groups. I've talked a lot about 7th/8th but yesterday was not about them (probably because the group of 7th graders only had 15/22 in the room for various reasons). 

Yesterday was about this:

  • The ginormous 1st grade group that when I walk them in expands to be a very long snack of spinning, jumping and twirling kids.
    • For some reason when we finally got into the building and stopped in the hallway to regroup... They were magically, somehow, in a relatively quiet and straight two lines.  This made me smile.  I didn't really do anything different but WOW! was I impressed.  I quickly let them know. As we walked the short walk to my classroom, they continued the behavior.  WOW! again. As we settled in the room they listened, then got to work on the task. WOW! times three now. They worked on keyboarding and most seemed to be doing well. When I stopped them to get their attention so we could switch tasks, I had 100% of them turn from their computer screens and look at me. I am wowed with this group because of the previous fourteen or so times I've had them, it has been nothing like this.  I'm hoping what happened is going to continue. I'm hoping we are moving away from so many Ebb days and more into Flow days.
  • The sixth grade group that came into my room.
    • I had a student who seemed to be stepping up as a leader in the group. When they were lining up outside my door, he was helping get them quiet and settled. I saw that he appreciated the leadership role and it seemed to help calm the group more quickly. When we moved into the room and began to work, I had some choosing to improve their WPM score from last week as we spent a bit of time on keyboarding practice.  They CHOSE this, I have options of what they could do. I have not seen the students show a desire to work yet. I very much enjoyed it! Again, I hope to see more Flowing days here.
  • I rearranged my teaching set up- projector, 'desk' etc.
    •  I have had most classes 13 or so times but they way I had it set up before, I looked at the back of student's heads for the most part while I taught. Then when they went to the computer to work, guess what I saw more of... yep, the back of their heads. So, Monday I changed it up. I admitted to the groups why I did it. I admitted that I felt awful that I was still asking their names when I did some quick notes about their progress during class. I made the promise to work on learning their names.
      • So- I tried working more on the names during the kindergarten class. I asked for their names while they worked and then used their name when I spoke to them. I'm hoping that when I see them in a week, I will be able to retain a few more of the names. It's important to me that they are not just a student walking into my room for 45 minutes each week. I learned the value of relationship many years ago from my dear friend Melissa. She is a wonder at this skill that so often is the most difficult to perform. 
On a side note, it is funny that a day like this happened when I was running on just a few hours of sleep. Funny how life in the teaching world works!

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