Several of my coworkers/friends and I are doing three book studies this summer: Teaching with Intention, Learn like Pirate, and Mindsets in the Classroom. There will be a lot of learning and growing as an educator for me this summer.
Earlier today I posted my thoughts on the first chapter of Teaching with Intention. Now I am partnering up with The Primary Gal for the first section of Learn Like a Pirate.
The first part of this book is very eye opening. I am intrigued by Paul Solarz's description of his classroom. I know that I may not be able to completely accomplish that as I am a first grade teacher but I would love to have my firsties become more independent.
I am always willing to try new things but I also tend to feel like I have failed if it isn't successful right away. Just that perfectionist side of my personality coming out which is why I am happy that he stressed that this isn't something that happens overnight, that it takes time and work to develop this within the classroom. I will need to read that sentence a lot.
With the way that I structure my room now I think that I have a small start to making a student led classroom. When I talked about my thoughts for chapter 1 of Teaching with Intention I mentioned that I have spent time moving away from whole class lessons and working more with groups and mini lessons. I still need to work on this and give my students more group time and more freedom within the groups. I still try to control the groups too much. I need to work on stepping back and letting them work their way through the activity or problem and only use me as a guide if necessary.
One more thought I liked is his statement about how this will only be "effective if the students feel safe, appreciated, and and connected to their teacher." This is such a true statement! Kids need to make a connection with you in order for learning to happen and the connection only happens when they feel safe and appreciated. I am blessed to work in a private school so my class size has never been higher than 20 which makes it really easy to get to know a lot about your students and their daily lives. Because we are a small campus I also have daily opportunities to interact with the kindergartners and students I have had in the past. This allows me lots of opportunities to build relationships with those coming up, those in my room, and those I have already had. It makes coming to first grade a lot easier since the kids already know myself and my teaching partner. I think it will help us a great deal as we make our classrooms more student led this next school year.
Looking forward to the next chapter next week!