After some getting to know you activities, we started to talk about how we act in first grade. We based this on our school motto of being the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. The students drew pictures of how we should act in our classroom and at our school, and as they finished, they posted them on the chalkboard under each section. They chatted about what they drew and what the rules should be that we should follow, so we created a tree map listing their rules for our classroom.
We also learned about how we will work together, or more formally, collaboration in our classroom. We learned about collaboration and creativity through the Box Project.
We talked about the questions “What can you do with a box?” To gather information and ideas, we watched the visual representation of This is not a Box by Antoinette Portis, and read the book A Box Can be Many Things by Dana Meachen Rau. Then we brainstormed ideas together, created our teams and got to work making our boxes into something else. We talked about collaboration, and teamwork, and what it looks like, and feels like. They said its about working together, listening to each other, sharing ideas, and having fun .We created an anchor chart so that we have our expectations for collaboration written down and posted for the year. We did the same for Creativity, focusing on making things, sharing ideas , and being innovative – trying something new. My students are good at that! The best part was listening to them as they shared their thinking about their projects.
So, my lesson for the week: We can do this together! Even though we are learning to read, write, and do math in our classroom, more importantly, we are learning to work together and learn from each other.