“With seven days behind us, the stage is set. We have already established the 4 R’s (roles, routines, rights, and responsibilities) and we have begun forging the fifth: relationships. I set a slow, deliberate pace for that reason, and now we will pick up the pace as we dig into our work. I am ready. The kids are ready. Here we go.”
“What happened to our desks? Why are all the chairs in a big circle?”
I introduced Community Circle on Friday. For the majority of the period, we sat in a big circle and built community. I present prompts, and we go around the room, sharing our responses. As with Smiles and Frowns, kids always have the right to pass, but few passed as we spent the time getting to know the members of our community. We will do this on the first Friday of every month. Here are the prompts from our first Community Circle.
- Would you rather be by yourself or in a crowd?
- What do you miss most about summer?
- What has been the highlight of your school year so far?
- Share a movie or show that you have watched multiple times.
- Share a pet peeve.
I have done Community Circle for years. Yes, it takes time, but I think it is valuable. It is such a great way to build community. In the past, some of my colleagues have been critical, calling it a waste of time. I am sorry they see it that way. I have never found time spent getting to know my kids a waste. Never.
With seven days behind us, the stage is set. We have already established the 4 R’s (roles, routines, rights, and responsibilities) and we have begun forging the fifth: relationships. I set a slow, deliberate pace for that reason, and now we will pick up the pace as we dig into our work. I am ready. The kids are ready. Here we go.
Along today’s trail we will…
…begin with smiles and frowns.
…read one more chapter out of Seedfolks.
…introduce Mindset Mantras. For the next two weeks, I will say column one. I am sure that some of the kids will find this corny, but they will survive. They might even start to believe it. If that’s the case, corny is worth it.
…introduce Life is Lit passage #1. Every Monday, kids will get a new Life is Lit passage. Theme is one of our must-meet focus standards, and this is one way that we will focus on it. By Thursday, they have to have it read and annotated, and they also have to complete the “identifying theme” handout that comes with it. On Thursday, we will discuss and use the passage for quote integration.
…take our Brain Break
…introduce our Narrative Essay, Truths from the Human Experience. This is the primary focus for the day. Kids will have to write in four modes this semester: narration, description, argumentation, and definition. For narration, we will tie into theme. The accompanying handout on theme is very similar to the one above; it has been adapted to be used as a pre-writing tool.
…capture our day in our Journey Journals.
Busy day ahead on the trail. Eager to dig into the work with my kiddos. Happy Monday, all.
Do. Reflect. Do Better.