Teaching with Intention: Chapter 1


Hey friends!!!! I am so excited to kick off Chapter 1 of the book Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller. Thanks so much to Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard for this awesome idea and letting us in on the fun! I'm hosting chapter one with two of my friends, Stephany from Primary Possibilities and my Vegas romie Jessica from Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten!!! 

If you're going on this amazing book study adventure with us, be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments. If you blog, link up with us so everyone else can read what you thought about the chapter. Feel free to use the question images (thanks to Jessica for making them for us). It's not too late to join in on the fun, head over to Amazon and order your book. I'm reading mine through the Kindle, so you can still join us!

Alright, now that all the technicalities are out of the way, I LOVE this book! It is an extremely easy read. Chapter one is ALL about your ideal classroom. There is so many thoughts that ran through my mind when I thought about my ideal classroom. We came up with a few questions to get you thinking. Here goes...

I would want my classroom to feel inviting. By inviting, I want it to look like a kindergarten classroom. I want my students to know that love makes the room special. I want them to be able to look around the room and see their names as they walk in for the first time. Without meeting some of them, I want them to know that I already care about them. The smell of the room is a HUGE thing. Little five and six year olds can sometimes bring a little funk with them. The classroom HAS to have some type of soothing air freshener. The ideal classroom for me will be very welcoming to other students, parents, and family members. I would want people to walk by the room, hear us, and come back to take a look at what we are doing.

The sound in the room should always be a constant learning buzz. I rarely make my students have total silence in the room. However, there are a few exceptions such as assessments on the computers and during some writing time when I want them all to focus on what they're writing. Later in the year, I'm not as concerned.

The look of my classroom is bright, cheerful, and has bold colors! It is easy to walk through the room. My ideal classroom arrangement would have ZERO clutter. There is various workspaces for my students to venture out. They choose anywhere in the room to work during any time of the day. My ideal classroom would have student work hanging. Anchor charts of our learning is posted as well. There is evidence that the students have been given opportunities to share their learning. This could be that their writing is on anchor charts or that I see writing throughout the room from them. The colors in the classroom are all soothing. The decor matches or coordinates nicely with everything else in the classroom. Also, students have everything that they need without needing to ask the teacher. All of the supplies are out.

Oh yeah, my ideal classroom would come with a personal maid to put away and file all my papers. *hehehehe*
In my ideal classroom, the teacher is merely facilitating the students. He or she is not micromanaging the classroom. The students know what they are supposed to be doing, but are given free will on how to complete the tasks. The students are working together to problem solve and complete their assignments. The teacher walks around to check in with groups of working students and has time to conference with each of the students.

There are groups of students using technology as other students are writing, drawing, reading or working on building words. There is zero downtime in the classroom. The transition time is down to a T and students get right to work.

During math, the students are all engaged. The teacher pulls students for math small group and is very organized. There isn't any downtime between transitioning groups.
PAPER STACKS! I like to hide the paper stacks. I think I do a really good job of it too. At the beginning of the year, I'm really good at putting papers back where I got them, throwing away things I don't need, and just not making the paper stack mistake. The end of the year is a TOTALLY different story.

I also need to work on my schedule times. I am a go with the flow kinda girl and sometimes that bites me in the rear. I will keep going with a small group or lesson and waste time that should have been for transition time or another group and then BLAH. Time has been wasted. I was SO much better at it this year, but there is still tons of areas that I can improve on. It seems like every year, I have what I think it a better solution for something that I've already done. So midyear, I have to change things around and that messes up my schedule. I think I need to just STICK to a plan that I have started with and ride the year out with it.

My students' work is another area that I need to improve on. Their work is posted in the hallways, but I have a hard time changing out their work in the classroom. I've done just about every way to show their work and I always forget that it's over on the wall and I don't change it for months.
My room is very bright and cheerful. I like to have my kiddos names up somewhere in the room. Last year, they were in pink, blue, and purple frames. On meet the teacher night/beginning of school, the door was different kidlettes with names to match. After school starts, we always make their names and I let those hang from the ceiling for the entire year. It's just something about seeing their names that makes them happy.





I also think I have the learning buzz down to where it isn't too noisy. This year, I seriously had the PERFECT class and they were AMAZING. Since I started using the Daily 5 and a form of it for Math Workshops, their center time has become one of my favorite times of the day. They know where they need to be, what they need to be doing, and there isn't a lot of chatter to me while they should be working. There has only been a few students that just decide to do absolutely nothing (the kids that come in AFTER we learn all about D5), but I clear that up and usually have no issues the rest of the year.



I love that my kids don't need me for 95% of the things that we do in our classroom.

Year after year, I am becoming more of an organized person. My personal life is not organized in any fashion. School is a completely different story. People come in my classroom and think that I am the most organized person. This is what I want them to think, therefore, I have to be that at school. I think it will just take me some time to get this way in the other areas of my ideal classroom.

As far as welcoming to others, I keep my classroom door open. This is for a number of reasons, but mostly because my principal likes to pop in. It keeps the distractions down when the door is already open. Anyone walking the halls can easily just peek in and we never knew they were there.

That's it! Did I mention anything similar to your ideal classroom? I'm sure tons of you have taken a different perspective on what your ideal classroom looks and feels like.

In the thought of an ideal classroom, here's some schedule cards to get your 'ideal' classroom a tad bit more organized for you and your kiddos! These are only available for free here.




Head over to read Jessica's post and Stephany's post. If you're joining us on this PARTY, be sure to let us know what you thought of Chapter 1. Come back next week for Chapter 2!



10 comments

  1. Thanks for hosting chapter 1! I'm like you. I don't want total silence in my classroom! I love hearing them talking and chatting while they work and explore! You have inspired me to keep my door open more this year!!

    Greg
    www.thekindergartensmorgasboard.com

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  2. I am so with you on the FUNK! I have to have some sort of air freshener in my room at all times. It just makes me a happy person, and people always comment on how great and fresh my room smells. I'm just thankful I don't have to deal with the same kind of funk that the older grades do, EEK!

    And kindergarten rooms that are silent make me sad and a little nervous. Like why aren't your kids talking? Don't you value collaboration? They are 5 people...sometimes they want to tell their friend about the frog they caught in their backyard, or the soccer game they won last night. If they happen to be talking about this while finishing their math centers, whats the big deal? Loved your post friend!

    Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten

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  3. When visitors come to my classroom, I want them to feel welcome, but I also want them to see and feel who lives, laughs, talks and plays in that space. I do that with framed family pictures, documentation panels and displayed art work and writing pieces. I also let the children make their own creations and hang it where they would like. I had one student who made everything with blue painter's tape and construction paper. At the end of the year, I kept finding secret areas where she hung her work:). I had a teeny tiny classroom so I battled with paper mess and storage issues everyday! Organization is definitely my weakness~!

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  4. We are similar! My weak spots are keeping control of the clutter and staying on schedule. I am a go with the flow kind of girl, too. I love that people come in and think it's so organized. I teach PreK so my world is a little different. I'm not allowed to use reproducible a, so a lot of our learning is hands on and we are always in centers. I'm striving for that classroom where I can work op with a student or a small group WITHOUT interruptions. This year, I did my version of the Daily 5 for literacy and math small groups and it worked, kind of. My students were engaged for five minutes before they were up in my face or saying they were finished. My goal is to tweak this so they understand they cannot be loud and disruptive. Other than this, I have a great classroom environment. We work mostly by lamplight and sunlight. I have this huge wall of windows that gives me the perfect light all day long. I have bins of books all over the room for my students. They are allowed to work wherever they are comfortable and usually choose our large whole group rug. Some like the table, but most like to choose a quiet corner. I need to declutter more and I've done a lot of de cluttering since inheriting the classroom. Whew! Thanks for a great Chapter 1. Can't wait for next week!

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  5. So glad to have joined this book study, thanks for helping to put it together. Great way for me to reflect and plan for the new year! I definitely need to reorganize my library and make it a larger area in our room. I would LOVE a loft!
    I took out most of our tables after spring break and the students have a choice of sitting at a table, standing at a table or working on the rug. I spoke with them about the change before doing it and they were all on board so it helped the transition. I think student buy in is huge!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love that you addressed smell! I have a scent I use all year long, except for a pine switch at Christmas, and the smell of the class is something the kids really anchor themselves to. And I am totally with you on a true open door policy! Thank you for hosting. I am looking forward to next week!

    Tracy
    kindergartencrossroads.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Okay, first off - I love your comment about the maid! Don't we all need one of those? I also am one of those teachers who is in no way organized in life, but at school everyone thinks I'm super organized. My husband hates it because he wishes that it'd transfer over to our house!

    Thanks for hosting and sharing your ideal classroom!

    Kristin
    Teaching In A Nutshell

    ReplyDelete
  8. As time goes, I come a little closer to my ideal classroom. One thing I found this year that I really like, and feel that it helps create a welcoming environment is the scent. I found a diffuser through Young Living that is great. You use distilled water and essential oils in it, which allows you to have a relaxing scent, or an invigorating one, etc.

    I have always taught with my door open, but this year I found myself closing it more because of hallways that were rather out of control. The interesting thing about that is that sometimes it was the adults having conversations. My kinders were always distracted by this, so I ended up pulling my door shut. HMMM.

    I want to work on organizing my paper, and how I keep all my data organized.

    ReplyDelete
  9. As time goes, I come a little closer to my ideal classroom. One thing I found this year that I really like, and feel that it helps create a welcoming environment is the scent. I found a diffuser through Young Living that is great. You use distilled water and essential oils in it, which allows you to have a relaxing scent, or an invigorating one, etc.

    I have always taught with my door open, but this year I found myself closing it more because of hallways that were rather out of control. The interesting thing about that is that sometimes it was the adults having conversations. My kinders were always distracted by this, so I ended up pulling my door shut. HMMM.

    I want to work on organizing my paper, and how I keep all my data organized.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Intention of the teachers regarding teaching in the classroom matters a lot. Various different points discussed in this post are so good and informative. dental school personal statement sample

    ReplyDelete

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