Jan 04

Put First Things First

Whoa!  It has been far too long since I’ve posted an update to all of the happenings in room 16.   But, just as we are teaching the kids, I had to use the 7 Habits, and Put First Things First. With my role in the school’s annual Talent Show, Leadership Day, rescuing, fostering, and adopting dogs–in addition to trying to keep the learning meaningful and fun in our classroom, I had to put the blog aside and focus on authentic teaching and learning. Thankfully, Class Dojo‘s implementation of Class Story has allowed me to continue  keep all my parents up to date with snapshots of our day.

As we are returning from a much needed break, I’m still thinking back to our Kindness Challenges given to us by our class guest, Buddy the Elf.  Many classrooms had a class elf, much like the Elf on the Shelf, but through Pinterest and various teacher blogs, I was inspired to have an elf come to us that would encourage us to do kind things for others.  No matter the holiday students celebrate (or don’t) , providing kids opportunities to perform tasks for others is a valuable experience.  Each day that Buddy was with us (for the most part), he challenged us with an Act of Kindness to perform.  Sure, he still got into a little mischief (like going on a s”elfie” escapade around the school), but the students were more excited to see what Buddy would have them do next.  Some tasks were more work than others (so Buddy took a day off if he thought the students needed more time), but they enjoyed each one.  Students made cards for Veterans, made cinnamon scented ornaments for teachers and staff in the building, made snowman ornaments for folks in a nursing home (and some even helped deliver them), and to go along with our project on animals, they made dog treats for dogs in shelters/rescue.

There is far too much to recap from the long gap in missing updates…but we have been busy.  Awesome continent projects, Wednesday challenges like making a Gingerbread Man Trap, creating a candy cane business–complete with a flavor catalog with prices and descriptions, logos, and a jingle, continuing work on their animal projects creating a Scratch activity to show their knowledge of wild vs. tame, and of course practicing their coding.  The holiday party where kids played Pin the Nose on the Reindeer, made melted snowman cookies, and had a snowman relay race.  And SO much more!  With all of the fun learning activities jammed into two months, I am very excited to see what the months ahead have in store for us.

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