When students enter our room, they know they are entering a place where they are all valued members of "Team T." My second grade students come to my classroom from all walks of life, with diverse needs, interests, and abilities. What I strive to create is a sense of community, where respect and collaboration are essential. Through the years, I have found that, when students feel welcomed, appreciated, and respected, they can grow immensely in their academics and social emotional development.
My goal is to provide a space where all of my students can explore, learn, take risks, make mistakes, ask questions, and create!
Respect, a sense of openness, and teamwork are highly valued in my room as I have found that students are more willing to try new or challenging things when they feel safe and respected by their teacher and by their peers. In order to support my students, I have found common meeting space, daily morning meetings, and energizing group activities are essential.
In February 2015, the roof of our beloved school collapsed due to the extremely heavy snowfall we had that winter. Our entire school was forced to move to our town's middle school, shifting students and staff all over the district to accommodate us. While we were so grateful to have a place to go, transforming a middle school classroom into a 2nd grade room was quite the undertaking. One of the centerpieces of my classroom has always been our meeting space rug. After many years of young learners making their way through my room, my current rug has become unusable and we need a one!
For my students, our rug is the place where we gather together as one team to learn, laugh, discuss, share, and explore.
This space is used consistently throughout the day. It is where we have our daily morning meeting, where we gather to listen to stories, and where my students can work in an open space. This year, I have the privilege of piloting Responsive Classroom with my 2nd graders. An important aspect of this social emotional learning method is morning meeting and closing circle, where students gather together to strengthen their sense of self and community, and support each other as learners. An open, clean, and comfortable space to meet is essential. In addition, the rug space is where my students can enjoy a story, work independently, and create and play with their peers.
When my new team of students walk through the door on our first day of school, it would mean so much for them to walk into a space with a new classroom rug, ready and waiting to offer a place for everyone!
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