Here we are .....February 1st! January was a total blur, probably because we only had students for one 5 day week the entire month! That was with no snow days for us - just a teacher work day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Plus throw in a grade level planning day, a teacher leader training,and TWO days of jury duty! Whew! It made for a challenging month for both teachers and students. After all, we are all creatures of habit and 5 day weeks are our habit. So, students were out of sorts all month. Then the very last week of January my students finally started to come around and I'm now looking forward to a "normal" February - only one Monday off!
"Are we going to exchange Valentine's?" "When are we going to exchange Valentines?" "How many do I need?" "My mom wants to know if I can bring candy?" "What time are we doing Valentines?" "Can I eat my candy?"
My third graders are obsessed with Valentine's Day - How about yours?
At my school, we cannot have Valentine parties, but students can exchange Valentines. I hate that we can't do more because I think they love celebrating Valentine's Day more than any other holiday! So we set aside time to decorate a bag to collect Valentines and then I let them "deliver" theirs to each other. It is beyond cute when you hear them say "thank you" to each other. That's when you know they have somehow become a community in your little classroom! No wonder "Love is in the air!"
The teacher is stressing about upcoming state testing and making sure she is not only covering all the standards, but moving the high kids higher and using small groups to re-teach concepts to struggling learners. All the while, making sure that it's not all about the testing. It's quite a balancing act - isn't it?
May I suggest?......
Set some goals. Set goals for yourself. Set goals for your students. Better yet, let them set goals for themselves.
You know your students now. Give them the opportunity to chart their own path by setting goals in reading, math and writing. Help them focus on the next few months. Let them struggle and then attain those goals. They will be better for it. They will also be ready for that test. It can be as easy as this:
If you want to do more in~depth goal setting,my Smarty Pants Goal Setting might do the trick! For the next 4 days, it's 20% off, so give it a try. I use it in my own classroom and now is a great time to introduce it in yours!
Don't forget...Love is in the air...so enjoy February with your little community of learners!