Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Fresh Start!

 Well, Christmas break is long gone and we are back to reality! We had very productive first week back. I was slightly worried that it would take us a day or two to get back into the swing of things, but my kiddos jumped right back in and we didn't miss a beat! I am so proud of what they remember- they were blowing my socks off this week!

We started with making resolutions. We made a quick resolution anchor chart and had a great discussion about what resolutions are and why people make them.

I started using Stephanie's 7 Habits posters after reading her awesome post about them. I have been interested in the "Leader in Me" program for awhile now, and I thought that these posters would  be a perfect way to experiment with the language. I have this hung on the board where it is easily visible so I can constantly refer to it. I love it!

This week's habit was 'Be Proactive.' We had such wonderful conversations about what that means and came up with lots of specific examples. The "I do not blame others for my wrong actions" talk was most important for my kiddos. It has been great to have that poster to refer back to when the kids slip into the whole, "She made me do it!" line. I am excited to continue using these each week. I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

After we had this discussion, the kids came up with their own goals for family and friends, the classroom, and any other goals they wanted to include. We then rang in the new year with a little noise!!

We then started reading one of my absolute favorite stories from our Reading Street textbook, Goodbye, 382 Shin Dang Dong. It is about a little girl who is born in Korea and when she is eight years old, her family moves to America. This was a perfect story for our class because the kiddos could relate to what it feels like to move- many of them have moved several times in their life.

I love having conversations with the kids and hearing their explanations for things. In the story, the little girl is asking about her new home in America and comparing it to her home in Korea. We read that in Korea, they have rice paper doors. You should have heard these kids' explanations for what rice paper is! I got a good inner chuckle from this! Needless to say, we had a discussion about how paper is made!

As we read the story, we took notes of how the main character, Jangmi, felt at the beginning of the story and at the end. I made a quick little suitcase out of chart paper to record our notes on just to add a little flare- sure beats plain ol' white chart paper! The kids got a kick out of it!

 In the story Jangmi also describes her favorite fruit that she would eat with her best friend in Korea, chummy. When she moves to America, she meets a new friend and that friend has her taste honeydew melon. Jangmi says that the honeydew reminds her of chummy. So, as a special treat, I brought in some honeydew melons for my kiddos to try. Most of them had never had it before! We did a very quick 5-senses writing about the honeydew as they enjoyed their treat! 

The kids loved seeing what the whole melon looked like and what the inside looked like! It was a great way to end our week! The kids really enjoyed this story and it will surely become a touchstone text for us in the future.

I'm looking forward to reading another wonderful story from our basal next week: Suki's Kimono! If you have any ideas for this story, please let me know!!!

I hope you had a great first (or second, for some of you!) week back!

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