Monday, August 6, 2018

Kids 1st From Day 1 {Professional Read}

I've had a lot of first days of teaching.  I was blessed to get my first classroom in August 1993.  When I first heard about Kids 1st from Day 1, I was excited for new teachers.  I love the work Kristine Mraz is putting together and really enjoyed her first book with Christine Hertz.  I didn't know if I needed it.  I love professionally reading and have an enormous stack of to be read books. I kept seeing this book on social media with positive reviews and couldn't resist when I had a gift card come my way at the end of the school year.  I began reading it last week and at first I didn't know if I needed it.  I was reading about classroom set up and I loved what they said but honestly I didn't feel anything new.  I have always had live  plants on each table and around the room and highly support this suggestion from Kristine and Christine.  I'm a reader who doesn't like to abandon books and believes there's always a nugget for me if I keep going.

I am so thrilled I did!  I found this book to have something old, something new, and naming things I've done that might not quite be the current buzz word tot he masses of educators.  For example, mini lessons have different structures; direct instruction, story telling, and inquiry.  I've felt in the past on the days I might tell a story or ask a question I may not have been "teaching" to someone walking in. I also found group formats during workshop described in concrete ways to help me articulate my thinking; guided reading, strategy group, shared experience, and independent coaching.  Conferring is one of my favorite things to do in my day and again there are different formats; teaching, goal-setting, and coaching. 

The chapter on emotional development stretched my thinking.  I found myself nodding my head and saying, yes we do that to prevent this... or that makes so much sense.  

Nudges I found to try within my own work

- add brain break cards to our daily schedule
- look at my plans and include structured activities AND unstructured activities
- movement, movement, movement in our day
- visualize and role play more
- p114 use their checklist for observing children's progress during a unit

Quotes that are sticking with me

"Community building, like all teaching, is slow and steady, but so is the act of growing a compassionate and critical thinker."

"Ryan Dunn, math coach extraordinaire, taught us that everything we teach has a social goal, language goal, and content goal, and we cannot just plan for one."

"We know the job is messy, the days are long, but our undertaking couldn't be any more timely or important."

Please, please, please read p94 a section called, Upstairs Brains, Downstairs Brains, and the Science of Challenging Behaviors - good for everyone

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