One Sunflower

all in a day

on February 23, 2012

A comment on my last entry had me thinking defensively about what I do in my classroom.  Yes, there is a lot of what I write about that sounds like school – elementary school.  The fact of the matter is, I teach in an elementary school.  Whereas I have taught in many other settings – homes, church basements, and remodeled houses, I am currently teaching in a typical classroom in an elementary school.  It is a small school of 250 students, one or two classrooms per grade but never-the-less it looks like, sounds like, IS the neighborhood school of my preschool students.

But – BUT – that doesn’t mean that what happens on a daily basis in my classroom is a watered down kindergarten curriculum.  Yes, there are mandated parts to our 3.5 hour day due to the fact that my classroom is a designated Head Start site.  My students have two meals on site but even though we are in a cafeteria, we eat family style in that the children serve themselves and we support lots of conversation at the table.  We can stay at our table as long as we want to – we aren’t hurried out to recess or on to another part of our day.

I have complete control over my curriculum except in the work I am doing with students in writing.  I am required to do two teacher modeled writing demonstrations each week and to meet with each student at least once a week as they draw in their own journal.  I also need to meet requirements of 30 minutes of moderate to strenuous physical activity.  But the rest of what I do to work with my students in five domains as well as English language learning is up to me to plan in a way that is developmentally appropriate.

There might be parts of our day that look very structured – I do have my students sit “criss cross applesauce, spoons in the bowl” but I allow lots of talking out loud – no raising of hands in my classroom – the better to learn and practice language.   I like messes and movement and noise.  Because that is the way we learn about cleaning up, being still and knowing quiet.

Come and take a walk with me on a typical day:

being together - the best part

listening to an older student read

playing doctor

every single block - every single one!

clean up - all on their own

play - is work - is play

morning meeting - a special sharing time

yup - here's looking at you, kid!

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One response to “all in a day

  1. Juliann says:

    It is hard to find that balance where we are supporting exploration and play and still including those practices that give our students opportunities they might not receive at home. After over a year of reading your blog and chatting with you, I have not doubt that your classrooms in not pushed down curriculum but curriculum that is bubbling up from what you know about your students. No defense needed 🙂

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