Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Our 4th Grade Classroom

We were given an opportunity to do classroom walk-throughs during our institute day to take note of anything interesting or positive we found (and to steal brilliant ideas, of course!) We traveled with our 4th grade team to visit our 3rd and 5th grade counterparts' classrooms. I'm sure you can imagine the fun that we had!! My only regret is that I didn't take more pictures of the wonderful classrooms I saw. I'll know better next time.

"Your classroom is a work of art."

A 5th grade colleague stopped me in the hallway after she visited my room and paid me quite possibly the best compliment EVER. "Your classroom is a work of art." I floated my way down to our next session and couldn't get those words out of my mind. During our group debriefing session, she shared that she just wishes she could move into my room. Talk about feeling humbled. Motivated. Appreciated. It has resonated with me all day and has made me pause to think about how many times we notice things but forget to say it out loud to someone else. You just never know when someone really, really needs to hear that positive feedback to push them forward!

Angela's comments are what inspired me to (finally) share pictures of my new fourth grade classroom! 

By the way, Matt and Ryan, if you're reading this, I'd like to thank you on behalf of teachers everywhere for giving us this time. You are truly in-tune with what our team needs and what teachers want!

Monday, November 4, 2013

What do my students love about 4th grade?

As I was getting information ready for parent-teacher conferences, I put together a document for my 4th graders to fill out to help me gain their perspective for what is going well and what they feel they need to work on.

I included the topic "What I love about 4th grade" because it is so incredibly important to me. Relationships matter. Happiness and joy matter. I want to know what it is my kids love about our classroom this year. Here were a few of their responses that were mentioned frequently...

*class library
*Miss Komos
*bean bag chairs
*Daily 5
*fuzzy carpet
*my friends
*reading and being able to select from lots of books
*my teacher for being supportive
*I love that we get to read and write every day
*her library because it is helping me become a better reader

Confession: I'm quite teary-eyed as I write this. With all of the uncertainty I've felt starting in this new journey, I know I'm doing something right. This list really shows what we value, from the simple comforts of a cozy classroom to the more complex feelings of having a supportive teacher. And like so many of my Nerdy Book Club friends, I pour money and time into our classroom library. Having their feedback on it does my heart good!