Designing Our Path for Learning

“Invisible threads are the strongest ties.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

We have been in school for a month already, and we are starting to get into our routines. Throughout the month we have learned about each other as individuals. We begin each day in Town Hall, sharing how we feel , and what we want to do each day. In my classroom, I have many curious students, including a subway lover, a dinosaur lover, many inventors, and many students ( boys and girls) who love the color pink!

The first graders are excited about learning. While we were exploring some new materials in our classroom, I walked around to ask my students some questions. ” What are you making?” ” How does that work?” ” How could you use that to show your learning?” That last question was a bit hard for my firsties, but they could tell  me what they wanted to do with their work. As I was asking them questions, I could tell a lot about them as learners and as kids. When two students looked like they needed something else, I called them over and showed them an app on their iPad called Kodable, and showed them how to get started. These students were trying something new, then they turned around and showed it to someone else. By making those connections, I know more about my students as learners – are they visual learners, auditory learner,s or hands-on learners? ( mostly hands on) . Who are my experts? ( Everyone is an expert at something)

I used a collaborative project this year called the Box Project so my students would know what to do when we work as a team. How do we get along? What questions help us move forward? What do we do if we don’t agree, how can we continue to work together? When you know about strengths and ideas, you can come together with similar ideas and improve them. We all need to feel that our ideas are valued, and that others trust us to make good choices.

It is so important to get to know your students, their strengths,  how they are feeling, their fears, and  what they are thinking. Making connections early on will help to establish those trusting relationships for the rest of the year.  We are on our way!