Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School 2011!

Another first day under my belt, this makes # 12 for me. All in all today went pretty well. My new class is very excited about being in 4th grade and they are going to be a fun group. I launched Daily 5 today and did a mini book frenzy which went really well. I had kids snatching up Wayside School  Gets a Little Stranger, and a few of them asked me for recommendations. As soon as they had chosen their books they filed back to their seats and read silently until lunch time. I also introduced the 40 book challenge/requirement today and it was met with some groans but once they started reading they were eager to get started. I plan to give them their reading notebooks tomorrow, they kept asking for them today. We did 3 short rounds of Read to Self to practice and will continue to practice that tomorrow. They LOVED their book luggage too. They couldn't wait to fill them up. I had them do a reading survey and told them I would use those to make book recommendations for them. It looked like they were pretty honest on the survey. 

The best quote of the day came from one of my little men at the end of the day today, he came up to me and said "Mrs. Foreman, guess what! I read from the beginning of this book all the way to page 169 in only one day! I have never done that before! I am gonna read MORE than the 40 books if I keep finding good books like this!" The best part was earlier in the day I asked them to be honest with me and raise their hands if they liked to read, this young man was not one of the ones who raised his hand, so this just made my day.

I took a couple pictures of my new munchkins doing read to self. I didn't know whose model release forms I had so I tried to take pictures of the ones whose faces were buried in their books (excuse the mess on the table in the background that is where they piled their supplies when they came in) LOL

Tomorrow we will continue with read to self and I will introduce them to their reading notebooks. Since the majority of my kids came from a class that did Daily 5 last year as well they already sort of have the hang of it so this roll out has started really easy. One of the parts of my day that made me really want to laugh was when we were doing the Read To Self I-Chart my kids did a great job on the section of what students should be doing but when we got to the part about what the teacher will be doing some of them had some quite interesting ideas from "doing paperwork" to "building your own stamina" they were quite funny. They listed; copying files, reading on my Kindle, doing paperwork, keeping an eye on the kids to make sure they don't act up, and (my favorite) checking my email LOL

All in all it was a good day and I am looking forward to a good year. 

OK on another subject I am thinking about rearranging my desks. Right now they are in a U shape but I am thinking about putting them into groups of 5 or 6 instead. I used a U shape most of the year last year. Before that I taught Kindergarten and we had tables so this was a nonissue. Any suggestions or comments on the U vs the "pods"??


  1. Sounds like your off to a great Daily 5 start:) Love the cute comments from your students...those are priceless!! I told mine about the 40 book goal today too!! Lots of wide eyes!! I am going to include that in their data notebooks as well as the genre checklist sheet. As far as the desks go...I have always done groups/pods. I have groups of 4 and 5. I went to a Kagan training a few years ago and have done it that way ever since. I love them in groups.

    4th Grade Frolics

  2. So sweet. I love taking pics of my students reading. I really like table groups so they get practice working together in groups (plus research shows that we learn more with others). I have a freebie on my blog right now for table group jobs- this helps prevent some of the fighting and gives everyone a job to do.

  3. Love the sweet quote! I love table groups - I have tried the U, the lines, the testing style - they all drive me crazy, but for some reason groups work for me! I feel more of a community when I have groups, and I frequently change their seats so they work with everyone in the room. Good luck! Enjoy Day 2! :)

  4. Thank you all for the great positive comments on the table groups/pods. Do you find that they are too chatty in pods/groups? Along with space confinements that was my biggest issue with the pod groups. Maybe I just had too many kids in a group, so I think I will rearrange the desks tomorrow into 5 groups of 4 kiddos (2 boys and 2 girls in each group since I have 10 of each right now). That way they have a face partner and an elbow partner. My room is not very big so the U has worked in giving me space but I think if I am creative I can make the pods work. I'll post again tomorrow with a pod group update LOL Kathleen thank you for the freebie! I am heading to your blog now to snatch it right up!!

  5. Your students look very engaged! I begin the year with my desks in a U, because it opened the floor for my students to come to the rug for read alouds. However, I do a lot of group work and discussion so I ended up putting them back in groups of 4 and 5 and am happy with the results.