As I was chillin' in the teacher center on my lunch break, I heard an eager knocking. I looked at the door and could barely make out two little heads trying to peek in. I walked over and opened the door to see Little K and Little C, and they were all excited to see me. All grinny and happy. We didn't have time to chat, but it warmed my heart that they wanted to see me. I love being a teacher whose past students--even the ones that bugged the shit out of me--excitedly say hi to me in the halls.
I must say, this is a very strong argument for staying in NYC for at least one more year after this one.
--Practiced entering two times.
--Do Now: Share writer's notebook decorations. I modeled how to share with my mug, and then we did a fishbowl so the groups could see how to proceed. And oh, the groups did so well! They listened to each other, they took turns, they were all engaged. It was excellent! I was so proud.
--Quiet sign: I introduced my two-finger quiet signal. We practiced with something I took straight out of the Dr.s Wong: let them talk to a neighbor for two minutes, then I give the sign and they all quiet down. On their third try, two classes took a mere 2.5 seconds to be silent and look at me. Awesome!
--Rule review: We discussed them together yesterday. Today I had them look at the eight rules (three school rules and five classroom rules), and they had to write which one they thought was most important, and explain why. That was Part A. Part B was to consider if anything got left out, and come up with a rule #6, and of course explain why. Again, they were silent and industrious and on task, and it was fantastic.
--Consequence review: I went through the five steps. I firmly told them I would like to be able to stop at the first step (verbal warning). That in a few months we should be able to tear off the rest of the poster, because everyone knows how to obey the rules and stay on the right track.
--Noise level chart review
--Work on the fall survey (still haven't finished that)
--Review Homework Rubric. I only talked about the Level 4/Excellent requirements, because I expect what? Excellence! I told them about the importance of following directions, in life and in school, especially on tests.
--Review homework assignment. Tied in the homework rubric, how to get a 4 on this essay. Had them repeat it to me a couple times, and went around checking that everyone wrote down the assignment.
That was it! It went really well. The students were very well behaved, they participated, almost all of them had their 'homework.' My dean stopped by one of the classes and seemed happy with what she saw. I was proud of myself and my students.
I am feeling good, people. This morning not so much; I actually slept through the night, though I felt like the walking dead. But the school stuff is off to a great start. I'm keeping up my toughness, keeping a sharp eye on any potential chatterboxes, setting up the tone for an organized, safe, excellent classroom. I think we're on the right track!