Friday, January 16, 2015

Aaaand We're Back!

For me, it's always a hard adjustment to go from "festive holiday" winter to just plain old winter. Especially because we haven't yet had ONE snow day :(

There's not much to get excited about, so I find ways to make it interesting! One of my new winter faves is the salted caramel hot chocolate from Shake Shack! MMMMM!

It's been a little over a week since returning from winter break. After such a long, relaxing vacation, I have to admit I was a little hesitant to get back to school. However, once we came back, it was really like we had never left!

The kids were most excited to return to our block area. One of my goals when I switched from a 3rd/4th grade to a 2nd/3rd grade was to integrate more block building into our daily schedule. Back in October, I asked the kids to name the blocks in our block area. We came up with a chart that shows the shape of each block and their name.

After we named the blocks, we put labels on the shelves to designate where each shape goes when it isn't being used in a structure.

On Friday afternoons, the class suggests some ideas for structures they would like to build throughout the following week. We vote, and the top two are the structures that kids can begin building on Monday. As a class, we decided that there should be no more than four children working on each structure (it can get kinda crowded in our block area). At the end of the week, during our morning meeting, the children who built that week share about their experience and answer questions and hear comments from the rest of the group about their structure! It's really awesome!

How do we know which kids are working on the structures? Well, as a class, we came up with the idea to pull eight popsicle sticks (each stick has a classmates' name on it) from a bucket, making sure to omit any popiscle sticks that have names of children who built the previous week. When your name is picked out of the bucket, you can sign up for one of the two structures we voted on.

Here's an example of one structure that was built this week (it's an air-base, FYI):

I'm looking forward to seeing next week's buildings! Happy weekend!

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