Monday, March 24, 2008

older students-slice of life day 22

Whew! I made it. Not that I thought it would be bad at all, but it's been a few years since I last taught upper elementary students in a math class during intersession*. When you teach 3rd grade on a daily basis, ten and eleven year olds might as well be middle schoolers. I was going to have to adjust. Given that most of us didn't know one another, our first day of Exploring Design through Architecture went pretty well. We had an ice-breaker, talked about idioms, and discovered all kinds of non-mathematical things about one another. Students explored the classroom, checking out all the manipulatives and materials they might use for designs and the books they might use for research. The budding architects created drafting books for notes and drawings. We also worked out logistical stuff like how to set up the smartboard and projector, how to check out books from the classroom library and where to find office supplies. I remember a few students from their third grade days and I have a few siblings of my own students. I tried hard to not make any assumptions about how it would go this week. I thought it was a lot like the first day of school- that great honeymoon time. The day went so quickly. Fifth graders don't need as many directions. They reminded me about a few procedures. Good thing. They need a bit of reassuring, but who doesn't. We didn't have to establish a bunch of rules. We talked about treating one another respectfully and about the importance of communicating politely. I didn't have to add much to that. I have high hopes for the week. Not just for the students- had that; but, for me.

*our 1-2 week optional school sessions that fall between our quarters during our modified (year round) schedule


Josie said...

I'd love to be a student in your class, on a daily basis as a 3rd grader, or even for a week as a 4th or 5th grader. I'd be given respect, responsibility, and opportunities to explore and problem solve - in a stimulating, yet safe, environment.

Jane said...

Yes, I agree with Josie! This program sounds awesome. I know how you feel about the age change. I went from teaching K-1-2 in wealthy suburban NJ to 5th grade in the "hood." I was so scared of the kids! Then I realized that they were actually scared of me the new person. So, pretty soon they were just larger first graders.

Thanks for your comments about the hugging. I brought it up as a topic at lunch today and almost all the teachers do hug their students if the student initiates it. Most of the hugging happens in public on the yard. We aren't sure if it's because they don't get a lot of hugs at home and are needy or if it's part of their culture to be more affectionate.

GirlGriot said...

This sounds as though it will be a great mini-course! I'm behind reading posts, so the week's almost over. I hope it's been a good one!