“It is greater work to educate a child, in the true and larger sense of the world, than to rule a state” -William Ellery Channing
Well, if this quote isn’t the very truth, I don’t know what is. As we have exited our honeymoon phase in our class, the real work has begun. We are making good progress in many areas, and needing to back up and start over in some others. Veteran educators know these first 6 weeks are procedures, procedures, procedures. The mistake is when you cut this time short thinking everyone has it. And. They. Don’t. Oops…
We worked really hard the first 10 days on our Code of Cooperation. We still review it daily. We have talked extensively about what the expectations look like. My students used our White Board app on their iPads to illustrate some of the expectations. As they made their illustrations, they shared with their groups which expectation they chose and what their drawing represented. It was gratifying to hear them incorporating the language we used in creating the code in their discussions. Note all of the happy faces in their illustrations…wouldn’t it be awesome if we were always so smiley??
Through our continued discussions on our code (and by continued, I mean my 15,624 references to it daily), we have discovered that we omitted some things. In our morning meeting, someone said, “We left iPads off of our Code of Cooperation.” We discussed what we should do about that and what we should add. Many ideas were thrown out there, but my personal favorite was the one who suggested we add, “Do not pick your nose and then touch your iPad, because that is totally gross and disgusting.” Can I get an amen, sister? But of course, we went with the more politically correct, ” Use clean hands on your iPad.” The others, while less exciting, were no less important: carry with 2 hands and be gentle.
So, as we forge on through these first 6 weeks and instill routines and procedures, don’t cut them short, no matter how tempting. It makes life a lot easier in the long run and allows your students to really take charge of their learning environment once all expectations are understood and owned by everyone. We are adding iPads to our centers this week, which increases student voice and choice in their learning. We will be adding some new procedures as we do this. Remember, teaching IS rocket science. It can be difficult, messy and exhausting…but with proper attention to procedures in the beginning, the rest of the year will be a real blast!
PS…If you care to check it out, I am featured on the Apple Education website!
Today we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!