Saturday, September 8, 2012

"What if I don't agree with our rules? Do I have to sign them?"

First graders are cray CRAY. In the best possible way. But who else would jump on eachother's backs at lunch, compare pencil length for 5 minutes before getting started on their work, or hide in corners to share hot cheetos and takis and then tell the assistant principal they didn't eat them even though they had fiery powder all over their fingers?
Oh, my students. I was feeling exhausted Friday and didn't take the time to celebrate their successes. Like, how they're already working for 13 minutes at a time quietly and independently. My classroom is much much quieter than it has ever been. We created rules this week: Be kind, be safe, work hard, and have fun. G asked me when we were signing our rules if he had to sign because he didn't agree with working hard. Oh, dear. "Yes, you still need to sign it, because we're going to learn how to work hard to go to college." "Okay, Ms. Estrada."
I have a couple students with severe social and emotional needs (not as much as in the past), but I'm super excited for Seneca to start working with those muffins to get them what they need. At this point, I'm not sure exactly what will work for them (wandering around the room, sleeping constantly, defiance, etc.) I know my interactions with them cannot be overly stern or emotion-ridden, yet I'm trying to figure out how to communicate strict boundaries for them.
We have our first long day on Monday--8 to 2:45. I'm a little nervous about what that's going to look like. I know my students will get tired, and we'll need lots of energizers and breaks, and I'll need to keep my frustrating at their five-year-old-ness in check. Ready for a weekend of resting, Catan, and baby showers!

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