I slept like a baby last night after a very busy school week with many early, early mornings of school reflection and prep. It was a good week all in all. Next week will find us working more with coordinate planes to solve problems and create wonderful illustration. Students will also learn about watersheds by creating watershed models and reading, watching videos, and discussing what watersheds are, how they work, and why it's important to take care of them. We'll continuing our read alouds, Front Desk and Ghost, find time for quiet independent reading, and continue to work on student portfolios in preparation for upcoming conferences. My colleagues will engage students with story writing, more reading, and lessons about the history of the local watershed, the science of water cycles, and a deep look at the the United States during colonial times.
The challenge right now is keeping students on track amidst the many science materials, books, and math materials that fill the classroom. This year the space seems smaller than usual--the class itself isn't greater in numbers, but I think the fact that we have a few more students who like to spread out and move a lot makes the space seem smaller. To deal with that, we're trying to use spaces outside of the classroom for small groups and individuals now and then to simply make more space to spread out. I'll continue to think about this space issue in the days ahead and how I might deal with it so everyone has the space they need. Most of our material-intensive science is happening in the next few weeks, so once we finish with those activities, there will be more space as those materials take up a lot of room.
Another reason that classrooms may seem smaller is that we are doing more hands-on learning with lots of materials, and that means students needs space for all those activities. I wonder if new school regulations make classrooms bigger for elementary school students. I think that would be a good idea.
I have a good number of student papers to review. While I like to review as many as possible with the students, I simply run out of time to do that due to numbers. In many ways, teaching is a numbers game--it's difficult to keep up with all the questions, efforts, and interests of large groups of students, but as a team, we do our best. We keep family members informed of what we do regularly too in hopes that they will extend that learning and discussion at home.
Now it's time for family, chores, and other weekend matters. I'm looking forward to a positive week of teaching ahead.