My first full week with the kids is complete! After having a couple tough kids the last few years, this year I have been majorly blessed with what appears to be a pretty amazing group of individuals! This is also the first year that I have had all readers! The kids are so close to the same level both academically and socially which is great. They all seem to be completing their work right about the same time too.
I'm proud to say, I have been diligent with my morning meetings and they seem to be going really well (hey it's been 8 days!). I have been brainstorming and pinning ideas so that I can keep them interesting and engaging. Up until Friday I was just ending each morning message with a question. Since all my kids are readers and can write with minimal help this has been working. One day I mentioned the weather as it was going to be over 100. So I ended the message with "do you prefer when it's hot or cold outside? Why?" They are to answer their question in their journal and when we meet after breakfast I have one student read the morning message then we go around the table and everyone answers the question verbally.
Friday I changed it up a bit and we used these pretty sturdy paddles I ordered last year from Oriental Trading. After asking everyone how they feel today (which by the way is so much fun because they are changing their word everyday and I'm loving the variety!), read the morning message (no question this day), did our calendar skills, counted money, and talked of our day, I passed them out. I then asked them 10 questions which they had to answer using their paddle yes or no.
I can't remember them all now but here are some:
I have built a snowman
I have been to another country
I have swam in the ocean
I was born in Bakersfield
I have been ice skating
Some of them we discussed after each poll, asking which country they had visited or where they were born if not here.
So, new plan. I think we will be doing two individual board questions a week, one team building activity, one similar to this one I did Friday, and one challenge (hold the door open for someone, introduce yourself to someone you don't know, ask someone to dance, invite someone to sit by you for lunch or on the bus). I want it to coincide with a lesson we worked on the day before. We can quick discuss it again and even do a couple role playing. After lunch when we come to group we will discuss if anyone was successful.
I am really hoping that with my kids all being on the same level, and me not having to differentiate their lessons too much AND freeing up my aides who no longer will need to work 1 on 1 with them, we can come up with some new exciting ideas for our class. I am excited, and can't wait to see what lies ahead for us this coming year!
I have pinned a few ideas on a Pinterest board HERE for the team building activities if your interested. If you have any you would like to share, please do so below!
I hope you have a great weekend,