Home > Reflection, Relationships, Teaching > Ready for 2nd grade

Ready for 2nd grade

My class came back from spring break looking about 6 inches taller and acting like they were totally done with 1st grade.  They’ve been a lot of fun this week, and often surprisingly independent, but sometimes, wow, they’re clearly ready to move on.

First, the good things:

  • They’re researching animals and writing “All About” books about their chosen animal.  During writing time they are almost 100% engaged and on task, and they’re getting great information out of books that are often far above their reading levels.  And because they’re so into the project, they’re soaking up everything I have to tell them about non-fiction text features (e.g., headings, index, table of contents, captions…).
  • They are reading with remarkable independence and doing it happily and for longer periods of time.
  • There are more and more periods of time when I realize that everyone is productively engaged in work and no one needs my help.
Next, the “wow, really?” things:
  • While they’ve always been a silly group, this week if one of them makes a funny noise, it’s 99.9% certain that at least 6 others will make that same funny noise.  And when I tell those 6 to stop, at least another 4 will make the same noise.  And then all of them will start giggling.
  • They are enjoying each other’s company so much that they often have no interest in me.  At all. Even when I’ve put them directly in front of me and am saying their names in full-on teacher voice.
  • Today in math we experienced the two problems above so often that we got through 5 minutes of my 1.25 hour  plans.  After standing up to stretch, then to sing a silly song, then sending them back to their tables to calm down, I assigned them boy-girl-boy-girl seats on the carpet.  And about 2 minutes after that, I threw in the towel and took them outside to see how many jumping jacks, push ups, marching steps, etc. they could do in one minute.
End of day conversation with a student:
     Me: Was today a good day or a silly day for our class?
     Student: A silly day!
     Me: Was today a silly day or the silliest day in all of first grade?
     Student: The silliest day ever!
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow they show me more of the great parts of them getting older and fewer of the silly parts!
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