Here come my First Graders! They are bouncing down the hallway, huge grins across their sweet faces. They are so eager to share the simple yet incredible details of the night before. I am so lucky to be their teacher.
"The future belongs to the curious." They are filled with questions and inquisitiveness--always finding ways to challenge one another and themselves.
They are problem solvers too. Their willingness to help a friend solve a problem impresses me daily.
They are independent. They love to explore on their own and find new ways to use our classroom materials. They are so clever and creative!
Do you walk into your job every morning, go straight to your classroom/office/cubicle, sit down and immediately start working? Or do you take a little time to greet your coworkers and make that cup of coffee before you start your day? I noticed my first graders were dragging their little feet some mornings because the expectation was to sit down right away and get started on their morning work...paper and pencil morning work. After reflecting on our mornings and revisiting my philosophy of teaching, along with some light reading and research, I've decided our mornings need an overhaul.
"Let them be little".
There's a lot to learn and master in first grade, but I always remind myself to take a step back and remember that my first graders are just 5 and 6 years old! They need time throughout their school day to just be little. Research shows us that play-based learning allows students to actively explore which allows pathways in the brain to build and strengthen. The morning tubs I plan to introduce will provide that play-based opportunity for them each morning to explore materials in a non-threatening way, converse with other learners, build relationships, and imagine and create.
The resources I have chosen for this project will be used by students every morning. Using the CVC Unifix Letter Cubes, Phonics Dominoes, and Word Family Dice students can make their weekly word work words. TinkerToys, Magnet Tiles, and Interlox Squares will encourage students to create and collaborate. Silly Sentences and Rory's Story Cubes are fun ways to create and write stories. Fun With Magnets and the Fun Express Dice provide experiences with science and math. Morning Tubs will be a great beginning to our day in First Grade!
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