On the first day of school, we imagined that it was the last day of school! Our homebase filmed a little video featuring people and places that made our “year” so awesome. This made our tour much more interesting than usual, and any of you family members and friends out there can get a peek into our school’s new and old buildings:
In all seriousness, our first three days back at school have been fabulous (and exhausting)! We have a wonderful group of students, and we’ve been laying the groundwork for a spectacular year. Here are some clues that this really will be the best year ever!
1) When we played our 100+ person game of RPS Cheer, students were enthusiastically cheering for each other. Even though many of them had just met, they were already showing off their effective communication skills, using positive language and good sportsmanship.
2) During our orientation session on technology, the 6th graders were helping the 5th graders set up their google drive accounts. In all four classes, students demonstrated strong problem solving skills — computers aren’t always easy to use, but students worked together to figure out how to use our new Chromebooks. My favorite part of the session this year was that students could work on tasks at 4 different levels depending on their background. While some needed to learn how to log in, others were analyzing digital citizenship tips.
3) I have to be honest — I was a little nervous turning over this afternoon’s homebase session to my students to decide what they wanted to do. I wasn’t sure if they would use the time well. However, it was amazing to see them using self direction and community membership to get things done to benefit our classroom. If you had walked into our room an hour before dismissal into the long weekend, you might have seen fifth and sixth graders working together to…
- Make a giant dragon and unicorn to decorate our door.
- Research our homebase namesake, Jonas Salk, to find out who he was and what he did to become an innovator.
- Organize a check-out system for our classroom library, and label every book with a sticker.
- Create a supply area for students to borrow pencils if needed.
- Support each other in making locker decorations, and help each other hang them.
- Decorate our back wall with a height line, each 10 inches representing a student in our class at the start of this year.
We’ve only been 3 days of school this fall. I haven’t assigned any homework yet, but I’ve already seen students researching, writing, learning new computer skills, recommending good books, doing calculations, working in teams, and expressing themselves creatively. I’m thrilled to see what’s in store for us next week, but first it’s time to relax a little. Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!
And this, in a nutshell, is why I send my kids to Innovation Academy Charter School instead of our perfectly adequate town public schools. There is more here; more innovation, more effective communication, more problem solving, more kids helping kids, more inspired teachers, more exciting classrooms and classroom techniques. It’s more fun. There’s more learning and less busywork, more teamwork and less bullying and one-upmanship. It isn’t perfect, and there’s some stuff missing that some parents complain about (orchestra, football). But it’s the best school for my kids, hands down.
Aw, thanks, Natalie! Being a teacher is a tough job, but I feel lucky to do what I do and get to hang out with kids like yours 🙂
My school year was great too. I was sick a lot and only went three days though. 🙂
Sick?! Hope you are feeling better! Seventh grade seems so very far away. I’m sure you are rockin’ it over there.
Feel better soon Lovinia!
Good luck and have fun this school year Ms. Krakauer!
8th grade seems fine right now, there’s a lot of new additions to the school, new schedules, new classmates, new LOCKERS, and new class topics. I’m mostly just nervous about my Jury right now.
😉 ~ Anna
P.S. When is the Global Leaders Club starting?
Just clear up I was kidding because there had only been three days when I posted that. Sorry! 🙂