Monday, January 31, 2011

My Wonder-full Day!

I was checking out Sarah Voyles' blog last night and it reminded me of a very important question that I should be asking myself every single day in my classroom - "WHY?" Does everything I do in my classroom have a solid reasoning behind it? Probably not. Should it? Of course! We've been geniuses for one full week now and while it's been incredibly rewarding, it hasn't been easy. Sometimes students want to take advantage of the more relaxed atmosphere by traveling around the room and constantly talking with other kids. While I understand that building communication and collaboration skills are essential, I also know that it is very difficult to maintain any semblance of control in such an environment. So today I wondered...
  • WHY is it necessary to give these students socialization time outside of recesses?
  • WHEN is the most appropriate time to give it to them?
  • HOW can I help them communicate in a way that preserves my sanity? (And that of my sub?!)
I truly love designing lessons that inspire and encourage genius, but I wonder constantly when I write my weekly plans... WHY? Why do I need to have busy work for my students to complete during Guided Reading? Is there any other option? If so, please let me know! Why do my students need worksheets to teach them symmetry? Can I ditch the book and use actual examples to teach them the same thing? Why do we have so many worksheets for Science and Social Studies and not nearly as many hands-on activities?

I guess maybe I'm more full of wonder today than my students, although their wondering was much more fun... :) We took some time to focus on different things around the room and wonder about their true purpose. We gazed in wonder at symbols of the United States and thought about what they mean to us and to our country. We wondered what made Brooke's tooth stay stuck in her mouth, despite her frequent attempts to dislodge it. We wondered why Mrs. Sigler kept stopping still in her waddle and breathing funny, and Mrs. Sigler wondered how in the world to explain the concept of contractions to First Grade geniuses!

All in all, it was truly a wonder-full day, even if we're leaving with more questions than we started the day with. Isn't that what learning is all about? And tomorrow (although this Iowa weather makes me wonder whether or not we'll have school!) we'll do a little research about our wonderings, because geniuses don't know all the answers, but the process of figuring them out is what makes us wise

1 comment:

  1. Great entry Kelly! When I was a new teacher, I believed in busy work and textbook 'learning' more than now. Busy work looks nice for the pop inspections and make us look "tough" in front of our colleagues. But, about the only good use for busywork is when we need a breather, such as if we are up all night with a sick child and need to keep the kids busy for a portion of the day.