Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Back to School

What a roller coaster couple of days! Monday was our first day back to school. It was great to meet my kids and get to know them a little bit. Unfortunately, the weather here has been terrible! Constant rain. And I'm in a demountable with no walkway cover. Not even to the nearest bathroom. And with rain pouring down, my 25 little grade 2's just needed to GO. NON-STOP! There was hardly 10 minutes that went by without someone needing to GO! And when 1 needed to go, they ALL needed to go! And no, they can't wait until I finish giving instructions, they have to go NOW!!

It's the same every year too- I always forget how very little they are. By the time they finish Grade 2 they seem to have grown so much - they jump ahead in leaps and bounds academically and they just seem so much more mature when they leave me December. Maybe I should move to Grade 3.....

We've been doing a lot of work on expectations, routines and MANNERS! Boy, does this group need it! We have completed most of the activities from Growing Kinders "The Day a Monster Came to School" freebie. We've read the story, made our class promise and have drawn pictures and written about how we can make smart choices and show our best listening manners. I've bought some back-to-school packs, but I think this freebie is the best! I've been able to use everything!

 Here's the sort we did for Above the Line, Below the Line and Bottom Line behaviours from the freebie. Please excuse the glare - with 2 whole walls of windows, another with a concertina door that can't have anything on it, and the other with the IWB and whiteboard, windows are really the only place I have to put things up!
And with a view like this, I don't really want to cover them all before I put stuff up! Our local forest is just next door. I LOVE all of the natural light I get.
Here is my CAFE board too. Nothing on there yet. We have started building our stamina for Read to Self. On Monday, we reached a whopping 1 minute 32 seconds!! Yesterday, we reached 5 mins! Hopefully we'll continue to see improvement!
Hopefully I'll have some more pictures soon. I always forget to take them when I'm teaching or working with the kids!


  1. This is so cute! Love the monsters! Thanks for a great idea


  2. Have a great 2012! I am in my class getting ready but I (luckily) don't start classes until Feb 7th. It really is funny how no matter the age, "I gotta go" is contagious.
    ✪ Liam ✪
    Twist of Liam

  3. Thanks, Kylie

    I have downloaded the Monster Freebie and will have a look. It is good to get a recommendation from someone who has tried something in a real classroom. I think that it the value of blogging!

    My Year 2s are delightful! We too have had nothing but rainy days but I have actually enjoyed the fact that they have been eating inside sitting at tables. It is much easier to see who is eating and who is wandering. Our Year 2s will eventually have to eat downstairs on the concrete and from my observations of past years there is usually a mess of litter and a whole heap of lunchboxes left behind when they run off to play. Maybe this civilised start will lead to better habits.

    I have been using the Whole Brain Teaching rules with the hand signals. They are working really well and I love that I can now (after only two days) make a simple hand signal and remind a child not to call out, or to think again about their behaviour.

    The Learning Curve

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  5. Oh! I had forgotten to use the monsters. My preppies would really like AND need that! I feel like I still have sooo much to do in the classroom at the moment. It is so overwhelming the first couple of weeks and it doesn't seem to matter how long I teach, I still don't have a set start up plan! - Too many good ideas out there and I feel the need to try them all! :) I'm very interested in the Whole brain teaching - stopping to remind Preppies not to call out is wearing me down at the moment - Thanks for the idea Jane! Kylie your room looks great! I'm praying for some sunshine before we all go a little crazy!!

  6. I love the monster freebie- Where can I download it? Thanks!


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