Welcome Back! We were very fortunate to have had a two week break and today was our first day back to school. As soon as the kids came into the classroom there was so much energy, so many smiles, and so much anticipation for what comes next. New Years and hopeful beginnings are so closely intertwined, on one hand we don’t know exactly what really lies ahead, and on the other we feel like we can accomplish great work together.
An Idea to Share
To get us focused and talking about our time away, we began the day with a carousel activity. The children wrote and talked about the following questions:
After a long break, kids come in excited to share about their time away and this type of activity takes that into consideration. It is also a great way to get them focused and able to share what is important to them, in a controlled environment. As I walked around, I could support their language usage, by asking open ended questions to spark elaboration such as “What did that feel like? and “Why did you pick that to share?” Kids were excited to share and when it was time to start our day, they were on task and ready to go. Here are some things I learned:
- One child went to Florida to check in on her new house
- Like myself, one girl got a new dog
- Several students took the time to go see the tree and Times Square in New York City
- Many students had special visits with grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins from different states including Pennsylvania and Virginia
If we had just gone into the day without time to share the things that were a special part of our lives when we were not in school, things might have felt more disconnected, noisy and there would have been some untapped energy. This activity helped direct the flow of energy into something productive for us all.
So keeping this in mind, we came up with our one word for the year. Our word is “EMBRACE”.
- Embrace opportunities
- Embrace imperfection
- Embrace success
- Embrace challenge
- Embrace other perspectives
- Embrace the humanity and emotional piece of teaching and learning