Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Creating a Positive Classroom Community (class assignment)

In an effort to create an enjoyable, safe, healthy, and engaging environment in our classroom there is a lot of hard work by both the students and myself as we work toward making our classroom an environment that is conducive to learning. How do we achieve that positive outcome? What does the journey to happy children in an educational environment look like for us? I'm so glad you asked!

Our very first step is to build a community where the children see themselves as part of something greater than themselves. An equal member of a team who has their own opinions and where they are unafraid to be who they are meant to be. Creating common language for "how we do business" and guidelines for our physical space and how we will interact to make our time together overflowing with collaboration and learning.

Beyond building a larger community, ensuring that each individual child has an opportunity to express their ideas and concerns freely and in an atmosphere that is abundant with kindness and love so they are able to practice being vulnerable and supported. This is achieved by providing situations where students are places outside of their comfort zones but the experiences are such that there is scaffolding in that learning. I like to think of creating a classroom community and building a strong sense of self as I think about teaching anything. Crafting ways to scaffold new learning so it is placed on the top of older learning and then practice, practice, practice in an environment that is trusting and safe.

I will be at the classroom door every morning to greet them as they come in and they will have expected activities at the tables when they arrive. Structure and order are important for kindergarten students and when they know what is expected they will not only be building independence but will have a certain calm knowing the expectations. We will have morning meeting time where we will work on specific language, reading, math, and social skills. The day will continue with the underlying expectation of kindness, safety, and excitement for learning as we travel from activity to activity and place to place. It doesn't take long to build the foundation for learning in our classroom but the work comes in the rest of the building throughout the year.

Rest assured this process is not always without bumps or set-backs. Being vulnerable can feel scary to most of us and it isn't a good feeling most of the time but I can assure you that practice along with seeing that all of the class is working on the same skills (even their teacher) it will be time well spent!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

April 9, 2020

Hello Everyone!

It has been so nice to see the sun these last few days! I have finished pruning our blueberry orchard and the seeds I started inside are all up and thriving. I have been staying active and "busy" but I am really beginning to miss my classroom, my friends, and our time together! 

Our Zoom meetings have been so fun and I like how that platform connects us together. I look forward to the day when we all can be at a meeting together! It has been fun to have guest appearances from some of our special's teachers, too! 

Please let me know if you are having trouble with any of the Padlet activities and please make sure you are watching our new mission to Borneo with Beth and Curtis! (Safe links to their videos and the livestream where Sample'sScientists have asked their questions are on the Padlet- Go2Science column-last column to the right...)

Talk to you soon! 
Sarah (Mrs. Sample)

Friday, April 3, 2020

April 3, 2020

Hi Everybody!

It has been a super busy week for me here at home! I have been working on getting our next Go2Science Mission ready in order for us to head to Borneo on Monday!!! Just to be clear, Beth and Curtis aren't still in Borneo. They are safe and sound back here in Maine. They filmed the mission back before Christmas, but now we can watch their adventures and participate in the live stream!

How that will work is I will release their video on Mondays and Wednesdays onto Padlet. I will take questions you want answers to on a Flipgrid and then on Tuesdays and Thursdays I will ask your questions on their livestream. Beth will then send me a link to the livestream I participated in and I will share that with you so your questions can be answered! I hope it all goes like that! Fingers crossed!

I have been planting many different kinds of vegetables this week and last~some of them are growing very quickly! Have you planted any seeds yet?

Next week will start our 2 Zoom Rooms a week. I want to try for the month of April to have a Zoom Playdate on Tuesdays at 10am and on Thursdays at 5pm.  Even during vacation week. I feel that will offer more choices for those of you who are still working. I'm willing to give it a try! I'm also inviting our specials teachers and even some surprise guest appearances to join us at those times!

I miss you all~ Be well and remember...I'm right here if you need anything at all!!! Sarah

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March 31, 2020

Well~we made it to the end of March! It came in like a lamb and is going out like a lamb, but I am feeling like there was a lot of lion in between!

I cancelled my trip to Arizona and that makes me sad. I know that is a pretty silly thing to be upset about and that staying put is important...but I'm still sad about it!

Our amaryllis from the classroom flowered today~I'm so thankful I brought it home when I left.

Do you have anything blooming, sprouting, or growing at your house? I planted a bunch of seeds inside and they are starting to pop through! I am looking forward to getting into my garden and digging.

I hope to have this be a calm and quiet kind of week. I have another math link I will add to the class Padlet in a week or two. I am hoping all of you have found a routine and a rhythm that is working for your individual families. Don't try to do this like somebody else. I want you to do what you are comfortable with and that is all.

See you in April! Sarah

Friday, March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020

Happy Friday, Folks!

The Padlet for our class is up and running. If you have any questions please send them my way! Enjoy your weekend~ Sarah

Made with Padlet