Welcome to the new school year!
Summer has come to an end for us, here in Wichita, Kansas. Inservice days are over and I have greeted my newest second graders into my room and my heart. My classroom is filled with excited 7-year-olds; their faces showing anticipation, hope, and maybe a little anxiety. I am realizing, once again, the awesome responsibility I have and the work that’s ahead of us.
Today I was looking at pictures from last fall and marveling at how my students changed and grew during the year. The first few days of school are so important in making growth happen. I fill the first weeks with a few favorite lessons that my students refer to for the rest of the year.
One of their favorite lessons is The Little Red Hen.
The supplies I gather for this lesson take some forethought so I begin collecting in June. I have an uncle who is still farming and before the wheat is cut, I take a little from his field, form it into a sheaf, and save it through the summer. Grains of wheat can be found any time of year. I was lucky to come across several mortar and pestle sets in a pile of discarded science supplies years ago.
For the rest of the year my class and I will have a common frame of reference when dealing with issues from spending too long in front of the mirror during a restroom break (like the cat might do), or talking when there is work to be done (like the goose). Students respond positively to this gentle, humorous, and “to the point” reminder. And for one entire school year, we all grow a little more.