I teach in a high poverty school. My students face many challenges in their home lives. Many face trauma on a constant basis, but when they come to school, my students are eager to learn! We are a tight-knit group and consider each other family. I refer to them as my kids. It is important to me to make those little connections with every single child. This group of kids is well-behaved, sweet, and they love to learn new things!
These students work hard every day, are eager to learn, are kind to each other, and we refer to our classroom as our "family." We are lucky to have the opportunity to spend our time together!
We have a lot of fun together and actively engage in the learning process together through high quality literature and math lessons, as well as exciting room transformation projects. We love learning and trying new things!
This year I incorporated something that I neglected over the last few years...Morning Meeting. Morning Meeting consists of gathering on our rug, greeting each other, sharing moments in our lives, and bonding through activities. Morning Meeting is a time to put academics aside and focus on connecting with each other. It is a time for team building, laughter, and trust.
I truly believe that student behaviors improve when caring, compassionate bonds have been built with a trusted adult.
Connecting with children is so important and easy to do, especially when it can be done through social-emotional read-alouds. I fuse a read aloud into my Morning Meetings that specifically focus on character development. I used to believe that children inherently know how to behave, but that is not true. They need to be taught how to behave, just like learning the rules to a game. If I want my students to be kind, compassionate people, then I believe I need to teach that. It can easily be done through morning read-alouds!
The books that I am requesting focus on kindness, inclusion, anxiety, confidence, citizenship, teamwork, truth telling, and more. These books will be the stepping stone for conversations and role playing situations. Our students are dealing with a lot. A lot more than ever before. Making connections through stories shows that they are not alone.
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