First Day Jitters

Hi all

 

I am trying to figure out how I can encourage the kids to talk about their feelings, worries, concerns, excitement, happiness, wonderings and all sorts from day one. 

I found these two snippets on Youtube that showcase the nerves and excitement of the first day.

and

and I really love this one…

I’m thinking of using these snippets to start a conversation about their feelings about being back at school. 

What do you do to ease nerves on the first day?

Photos of my classroom

So I got into the classroom last week to get things organised and arrange some stuff. 

I got about 15 minutes into it and I wanted to cry! I had to make LOTS more mess before I could make it look any better. 

The room still had lots of things in it that didn’t belong to me, or resources that could have been mine but I wasn’t sure. Turns out that the resources were all for me to use, but needed a bit of tidying up.

There was also no one that I could hear around the school. It felt very eerie and strange. I tried a bit of music for background noise but it was still far too quiet for me to feel comfortable and ‘at home’, so truth be told I left much earlier than what I should have in order to achieve everything. 

These are the photos of the room before my final tidy up this week, but I am pretty happy with it all. There are still a few things on my to-do list that need to be done to be put up in the room also. 

ImageThese are where I am asking the children to keep rubbers, glue, scissors and pencils. Image

 

Desk organisation, credited to http://littlelovelyleaders.blogspot.ch/2012/08/classroom-complete.html

I like the idea of organising the ‘horse shoe’ groups so that I can physically ‘reach’ each child if need be. My classroom also doesn’t have any ‘jellybean’ or ‘kidney’ tables for guided reading so this ensures I can take guided reading groups also. ImageImageImage

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I love this, as even at a young age, my students will take responsibility of their learning and discuss their learning. 

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I am ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

 

 

First day

My emotions about starting school went from wanting it to start yesterday and to get in and get my hands dirty, to utter dread. I was so nervous and just lost all interest in it all together. 

My first official day at the school was on Wednesday (23rd January). I met all of the staff and they were just lovely. I felt a little caught in the middle though. I was in a room full of lovely people, who are so kind, but they did not know me at all. They were all so excited to see each other and I was caught in between conversations they had with each other, that I knew nothing about. So many people came up to me and introduced myself which I was so grateful for, however, I cannot remember the last time I was in a room, being the only new person. That’s who I am, the new girl. Being quite young (in comparison to the people in the room), I also felt like I had to prove myself a little, as I just felt so out of place. 

Recently, I found the TED app for my iPad. I am HOOKED on watching the speakers, I really am. This video, 

Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are 

is what significantly changed that mindset. Watch it, it will get you thinking, and you’ll understand this next part. 

Before I went to school on Friday, I stood in the mirror and acted out the ‘power’ poses. I stood with my arms in the air, as I ate my breakfast, I sat relaxed and opened, not hunched over the table, scooping up my muesli and drinking my coffee. 

Wow. I joined in on conversations. I asked more questions. I approached new people and said, ‘Everyone seems to know my name but I haven’t met you properly yet, what grade do you teach?’ I got a little angry with myself as I worked in retail for years and had to walk up to strangers on a daily basis and find out all sorts of things about them. In that environment, though, I ‘owned’ the space, it was ‘mine’ and they were ‘guests’. In this environment, while I am not a ‘guest’ and I work there just as much as my colleagues, I’m not familiar and they have a very tight-knit community.

Either way, that video made me think about how I was presenting myself. As Amy Cuddy says, you don’t need to have the same body language all the time, it’s more about having the body language for a short while to trick your brain a little. 

I am proud to say that Amy was right. “Our bodies change our minds, and our minds can change our behavior, and our behavior can change our outcomes.”

I think for a little while longer I will need to keep up these ‘power poses’. 

Stay tuned for photos of my classroom!

Jemma

The move is done

I have officially moved into my new apartment on the Gold Coast. I’ve been here one week and am loving it. A bit homesick today but still trucking along. Have been to the gym in the complex for my happy hormone fix and it’s worked very nicely. Enjoying an iced coffee now as I plan the phonics outline for the first term.

I have set up most of my room and I’m mostly happy with it.

Will be posting photos soon.

Talk soon!
Jemma

Classroom organisation

So my focus has shifted a little to the organisation of our classroom. This did arise from thoughts about the first day of school. To be truthful I didn’t get too far, as I stumbled across the school supplies list that will be at each child’s desk. Once I saw that, I started to consider how the supplies and resources will be organised. 

 

I stumbled across this blog, which has great ideas about classroom organisation. The colour coded baskets this teacher has are a great idea and I love them. It also fits quite well with the fact that the children are coming from Prep, and will not have had much experience in having their own resources to be responsible for. If I can ease the children into this slowly, by giving them a group basket to be responsible for, it should work quite nicely. 

 

I am considering making  one child each week responsible for counting all materials so that they are kept track of and that the ‘responsibility’ aspect of having personal items is established fairly quickly. I am thinking of linking the leaders into the weekly job chart.

I apologise if it seems I am ‘thinking out aloud’ a little too much, but this is the beginning of my journey at I’ve not had to do any of this for myself before! I’ve never been in a Year One Classroom! If you have any suggestions or tips please let me know! 

Jemma 🙂

I love these thoughts and it frustrates me that people sneeze at my work as ‘finger painting’. It is so much more and Early Childhood Education and Care needs to me valued so much more in our world.

Reishi Roberson, Llc.

“The New Cathedral is the social fabric that we will build with one another.” -unknown

Who we are begins in-utero and our earliest years, birth to seven. These years shape us dramatically through subtle events, so often overlooked: How we play as children, how our earliest movements are initiated or hindered, and how we “sense” things: our relationship to the rest of the world.

Renewal Magazine talks about strengthening the foundational senses of the young child. These foundational senses, how they are filled with grace, set the stage for how they will influence the four highest senses. The dutch Dr. Albert Soesman writes in his book, “Our Twelve Senses”, the paradigm of separating the senses into, four of each: lower, middle, and higher.

  • The Will/Foundational/Lower senses are how children relate to their own body: touch, life, movement, and balance.
  • The Feeling/ Middle senses relate us to the world around us:…

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I love this. This article has forced me to reflect on my philosophy of teaching and understanding of children.
What is in your philosophy? What do you think children need?
What do families need? What do you need?

Growing Children

When I was an infant/toddler teacher, December was a time for reflecting over the past year and thinking about how to improve the experiences in my classroom, as well as myself professionally. I looked closely at what was happening in my room, school and community. I thought about the children and families I served, and how I could best support them. I would read books and articles, discuss and debate with my fellow teachers and just listen to the babies and families around me.

One book that I often returned to was The Irreducible Needs of Children: What Every Child Must Have to Grow, Learn, And Flourish by T. Berry Brazelton, MD and Stanley Greenspan, MD.   Though the book is more than ten years old and new research and knowledge is available, the “irreducible needs” that Brazelton and Greenspan discuss haven’t changed.  According to Brazelton and Greenspan, children have:

  1. The…

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