Over the weekend, I spent time thinking about all the reasons I have for looking forward to going to work. I was facing a little bit of an emotional slump since I had been sick almost the entire break and was getting a little bit upset about the break being done. Since this was happening, I decided to intentionally focus on the positives. I started to list in my head what I was looking forward to seeing from each and every student. This definitely helped me to reframe how I was feeling about going back to school.
Then, yesterday, we had a great day. As always when you get back from a break, it took a little bit of reminding to get everyone back on track. But I told my class that I was looking forward to our reading time and I meant it. You see, I bought some new books over break. I knew especially that Amulet 7 would make quite a stir…it did not disappoint. We have a wait list going. I was so pleased with how we sunk right back into our comfortable and happy routines of independent reading.
Then, I discovered the boys that are reading The 39 Clues. When Peter Lerangis was at our school the week before our break, he talked about this book series because he has written some of the books. After he left, my boys found the basket and three of them started the series. Yesterday, they peppered me with questions about how to tell the books from the first series and if there were other series. We spent a few minutes by the basket and I showed them the Infinity Ring books. They are completely hooked. I love that the author inspired them to read the series. I had already made this recommendation to them a few times and knew they would love those books so I was very happy to see them reading them. They even asked me if I would meet with them as a group so they could discuss the books. When I replied that they could do this themselves, they looked at each other and said, “book club.” I love this!
Then, as I walked through the classroom conferencing, I paused for a minute by David. He had just gasped and was sitting there with the shocked look of someone who had just found out something big. I love seeing students sucked into their stories and reacting like this.
Then came the end of our independent reading time. There was the audible groan from many and a desperate plea from one of my students, “just ten more minutes, please!” He even tried to start a chant, “Let Us Read! Let Us Read!” Luckily, this particular student is just a little more intense than the others and the chant did not catch on. There is so much that happens inside of my brain when this type of thing happens. I didn’t exactly reprimand the student for the chant, just said that that wasn’t a likely way for him to get what he wanted.
We ended our day by watching the new big ideas video on ClassDojo and picking our new avatar on GoNoodle.
If you do not use ClassDojo in your classroom, you should check it out. They have been working over the past few years to add features that teachers will want to use. I love using Class Story to write down our recap each day and send out that summary to parents. The big ideas videos are about growth mindset. My students really like these videos and ask me to play the new one when they see it pop up on our page.
The same goes for GoNoodle. We use the brain breaks on this website every single day in my classroom. I especially love that they have started to add more Yoga and Mindfulness brain breaks. My kiddos love the Koo Koo Kangaroo videos the most.
Both of these websites support my efforts to create class community. These shared experiences contribute to our collaborative environment and make our classroom a comfortable and wonderful place to be.
All in all, I am super lucky to be a teacher and to have a job I love doing. Going back to work after a vacation is always hard, but it is much easier to get back in the swing of things when you can find the good in being there.