Click!

So today I taught my class how to write an interesting beginning to a narrative. In case you couldn’t guess by my love for extensive lexicon and regular blogging for the last six years, I LOVE teaching writing. It’s hands down my all-time favorite thing to teach, so you can imagine I was pretty excited. When we discussed interesting ways to start a narrative, one of the ways I introduced was starting it off with a sound (hence this blog’s title). “Click!” represents a beautiful thing: it’s the sound of a lightbulb going off when a kid gets something.

Today, my kids were so excited about writing. My group is pretty good with literacy as a whole, and it’s an absolutely magical thing to see them do read to self or write (either independently OR with a partner!). What was different about today though was that I actually felt like I was teaching them something — and what’s more is that they were excited about what I was teaching! We had a really great time coming up with fun sounds to open a scary narrative.

During math, we were continuing our practice with subtraction through story problems. I really like opening up the lesson with a story problem on the board so the kids can copy it down in their math journals. We reviewed our story problem chant (SO FUN) and did mad work on those story problems. The kids who felt comfortable got to write some story problems and then swap and share, and they got to practice some good CGI (cognitively guided instruction) problems that I printed onto slips of paper. The kids who felt like they needed a little more subtraction love stayed on the carpet and we did another story problem together like at the beginning of the lesson. It was so neat watching the kids filter themselves into the activity that they felt ready for — I’m really hoping to do more of this as time progresses (and by “as time progresses” I mean next week) because I think it’s beneficial for the kids to get small group time with me as well as small group time to work independently or with a partner. There’s so much to learn from others!

Melanie told me that a few of my kids who go to her room at dismissal were doing the story problem chant and teaching it to some of the other kids. Can we just talk about how HAPPY this made me?

I AM TEACHING THEM SOMETHING. THEY KNOW THE STORY PROBLEM CHANT. SUCCESS.

One of my students even wrote it down for Melanie — how cool is that? I mean these kids were singing and doing the hand motions and everything!

Another one of my students gave me a card this morning in this hot pink envelope. I decided to wait to open it until the kids left for the day, and when I opened it I almost cried. Its contents:

Miss Stewart,
You are the best teacher with me. I wish I will be a teacher one day. I love you so much that I want you to tell me more about math.
From, CS

CS, I want to tell you EVERYTHING I KNOW about math! Unfortunately that isn’t too much, but it’s better than nothing!

Also, one of my students was in the bathroom crying at after school yesterday because he missed me.

(sigh) Aren’t kids the sweetest sometimes? They are so good at showing you that they love you, and the least I can do is show them how much I love them by teaching them all I know!

I finally feel like they’re retaining the things that I’m teaching. During corrective instruction time in the afternoons when all the teachers switch kids and have smaller groups, I can feel that I’m getting through to some kids. I also feel like the kids from my class are kicking butt and taking names in the other classes (well, for the most part).

Overall today was pretty good — things are starting to click for the kiddos and I’m getting even more confident with every single day. Here’s to hoping this keeps up!

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6 thoughts on “Click!

    • “Read the problem (open hands like book), underline (underline from book motion going back and forth)!
      What is it that I need to find (palms up like an “I don’t know” motion)?
      Pick a strategy (‘pick’ the air with both hands), show my work (pretend to write),
      Check my answer (do a check mark with your hand as though you’re checking a paper), be sure it works (thumbs up)!”

      Huge thanks to Elizabeth for sharing the chant with our third grade team! SO helpful! 🙂

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