The start of the year can be a messy time as educators begin to know students. Rather than demand a lot of structure, I make the time to observe carefully. What are students doing? How do they react? What do they need? How do they appear to learn best?
This observation may look messy as children navigate lessons and classwork in a variety of ways, but I find that giving this open time for understanding who students are is valuable in the long run. As much as possible, teachers want to establish positive, student-centered relationships and learning in these early days.
Early-year projects take time too. As students warm-up to school year expectations and effort, their learning takes time. There's the temptation to rush the start of school, but experienced teachers know that rushing does not result in good routines or positive relationships in the long run.
With this in mind, our classes will continue on the initial path of establishing good relationships and getting the year off to a great start.