We've Been Busy!

I've taken a long break from my blog.  
During my time off, I've finished my master's degree, gotten things started in my classroom, and am pregnant!  
My husband and I are over-the-moon-happy.  I'm 16 weeks pregnant today!  So, I'm starting off a new school year with a new perspective: someone else is going to be teaching my students for part of the year.  Eek!  This means I'm going to remain organized and structured!

For starters...
I rearranged my classroom and weeded out many items I no longer need.


Following Responsive Classroom, we've done guided discoveries, begun sharing, played "getting-to-know-you" games, created our Hopes and Dreams, developed class rules, and decided on class jobs.  This year, I asked my students to develop their own class jobs:
 Students created a list during the first week.

 I rewrote the jobs, using alliteration (for fun and as a reinforcement skill).  Students decorated the cards and I laminated them onto a large poster paper.  I then cut open the top slit.  

 Popsicle sticks go in each pocket.  These get rotated weekly.  We created two blank pockets for any possible new students!
Here are our class jobs:  2 Classroom Cleaners, 2 Chair Chiefs, Notes & News, Morning Meeting Leader, Line Leader, Door Duty, Paper Passer, 2 Lunch Luggers, Phone Friend, 2 Book & Compost Buddies, Table Tender, and Substitute.

In writing, we've discussed the "Reasons People Write" and the "Topics People Write About".

 From the many specific topics, we created a more general topic list.

Students created topic lists in their journals and created a free-write, topic-based story.  We will use this piece again at the end of the year, to reflect on our writing growth.  In learning about the writing process, students created Biography Poems.  They planned their thinking on a graphic organizer, drafted, revised, edited and published these.
    Here they are during the peer conferencing/revising stage:


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