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...
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*
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.
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.
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!