Teamwork: Our class is coming together as a team! There are some nice friendships beginning to form, names being learned and lots of kind words and helpful actions. I use lots of positive reinforcement, encouragement, clear expectations and a little bit of my silly side in our classroom.
Fire drill: We have had two practice school fire drills (one last week and one today). Both times, they were announced and there was no alarm pulled (so no sound). Soon, we will have drills that will have the alarm and may be announced or unannounced. Our class had practiced what to do and bring (nothing!!!) many times before our drills and so we rocked the real practices!
Take a break chairs: Sometimes we all need a break! In our classroom we have two take a break chairs for children (and adults) to regroup. It is not a punishment but a place for students to use tools such as belly breathing to restore focus, work through big emotions and regain self-control. As with all tools in our room, it was introduced through lots of modeling and practice. I have been taking lots of breaks to model how to use it, what to do while we are there, and how to return to the group. After a child takes a break on their own accord or is asked by a teacher there is a follow up conversation. Each child in our class has had the opportunity to try out our take a break chair! As we progress, we will learn new "tools" to help us with our feelings.
Morning routine: Each day, we come in and greet Mrs. Margolis with a hello, handshake, high five or hug. Next, we use our handy routine chart on our door to help us remember what to do (hang up our backpack and coat, take out our red folder and then do an activity at our special table spot). This week the table activities have been to explore the math manipulatives and fine motor skills (pattern blocks, unifix cubes and cutting). After exploring, we listen to morning announcements.