Friday, August 1, 2014

Currently August

I can't believe it's August 1st!! Where did summer go?! I'm linking up today with Farley at Oh Boy! 4th Grade.
Listening: It's so rare to have silence in my home: I'm enjoying the luxury!!
Loving: I'm so blessed to have a Mr. Fix-it as my hubby!! He came to my classroom the past couple of days, toolbox in hand, to help take down rows of useless coat hooks & put up a pretty new bulletin board! He hauled in a heavy old bookcase, dusty from our garage for my expanded class library & fixed my 27-year old pocket chart racks, which were falling over.
Thinking: I've loved having my oldest daughter home for the summer; she's become such a responsible, mature young woman while living across the country for a year!! I'm sad to fly her back to DC in a few weeks to move her into her new dorm.
Wanting: So excited to link up with Meg at The Teacher Studio for an August book study: Building Mathematical Comprehension: Using Literacy Strategies to Make Meaning by Laney Sammons. I've read so many literacy books this summer that I can't wait to apply those strategies to math!!
Needing: There's never enough time for all the reading, scrapbooking, and beach days that I want!!
1st Day: We devote a part of each morning to community building activities. The focus on teamwork, relying on others, as well as discovering similarities among our classmates develops a culture of caring and kindness! A favorite activity is hula hoop pass: students stand in a circle, joining hands. (Yes, there's a good deal of squealing between boys and girls. . .) Place a hula hoop between 2 students. The goal is to pass the hula hoop around the circle without using hands. They have to rely on teamwork. When they get good at it, I add more hula hoops to the circle and we set a timer to see how quickly they can pass the hoops!
Another fun activity is Thumb War. Break the group into two teams, and have the teams line up facing one another. Each team member’s opponent will be the person directly across from them. Before each round of “Thumb War”, give the group a question each player must answer to their opponent. Click here for a list of questions & directions. After all students are finished sharing, the “Thumb O’ War” begins until one has captured the thumb of the other. One team has the person in the front of the line go to the end and everyone moves down one so each person is facing a new partner for round two. Continue for several rounds.
Happy August, everyone!! How do you create community in your classroom?

8 comments:

  1. I'm laughing as I read others' "Currently" posts; I totally misunderstood the last section: 1st Day You & Kids. I didn't realize it was talking about dates only!! Our first day is Aug. 11th & the kids come Aug. 12th. But now you know what community building I'll be doing on that first day! :)

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  2. We always need a few extra days of summer - why do they end so fast! Glad you were able to have your hubby to help you - mine doesn't love going into the classroom with me, I always give him too many jobs!

    Alison
    Teaching Maths with Meaning

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  3. After reading your part about 1st Day you and kids...I went back to Farley's post and re-read it because I thought I missed something! HA! Then, I saw your first comment. LOL! I'm glad you misunderstood because I love your community building activities and that you were able to share them! So perfect! I bet your students just love them!!!

    I also love that your husband comes in and helps you! So, so sweet! And, that you are still going in early and excited about the new school year, even after 28 years of teaching! It really shows that you must be a wonderful teacher and your students are lucky to have you!

    Have a wonderful 1st Day!
    Beth :)
    A Kindergarten Life For Me

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  4. P.S. I continued exploring your blog and I noticed you are in Southern California...We have a Facebook Group called Southern California Teachers that you might like. We also get together for meet-ups... You would probably also LOVE the blog Ramona Recommends! Courtney also LOVES books and reading. Not sure if you have seen her blog yet, but you should definitely check it out! Just wanted to share! :)
    Beth :)
    A Kindergarten Life For Me

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    1. Thanks, Beth! I just clicked on "join group" for Southern California Teachers!! I'm so excited! And yes, I already follow Ramona Recommends; she is AMAZING!!! Looking forward to a meet up!!

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  5. My handy husband is headed into the room with me, too. I need my cart put together and another bench made. And I'm thinking I'm going to try the hula hoop activity with my kinders. And it is so hard to say goodbye for the college year– both of mine are there now. I can relate to a lot of what you say :)
    See you around! Kathleen
    Kidpeople Classroom

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  6. I just returned home to the midwest from SoCal. We were in Huntington Beach for a softball tournament! That sounds like an interesting book. I will have to keep it in mind, as we are always looking for books for our PD book study groups. I am getting ready to send my youngest off to college for the first time and am really starting to struggle with it. We have about a week and a half before she goes and I am so sad, but I know it will be good for her. Love your back to school activities- I am sure your kiddos have a ball!
    -Kim
    Curriculum and Crayons

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    1. Thanks, Kim! I'll be posting about more community building soon!! Having your kids in college is hard but such an exciting time in their lives!! Makes both of you appreciate each other, too :)

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