The Class of 2015’s First Week

From Mrs. Woods:

We begin the school year by creating our class culture.  How will we interact and learn together this year?  Setting the tone for our class kehilla is (hopefully) evident in all that we’ve done this week.  Fifth graders are encouraged to be inquisitive, to be creative, and to find meaning in all that they do.  JCDSRI’s mission statement permeates the work that we do.

Students have already exerted leadership by planning and facilitating the first all-school Wednesday afternoon assembly.  They were quite impressive and led a creative and engaging community-building activity.

Most mornings will begin with a Responsive Classroom morning meeting in the classroom.  This helps build community and set the tone for the day.  Curious to know more?  Click here: https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/principles-and-practices-responsive-classroom

At Morning Meeting on the first day

With Rabbi Gouze, fifth graders read, thought about, and commented on different texts about learning.  Each student then chose one that spoke to him or her personally.

 Commenting on texts

In the garden we tasted our tomatoes that were planted last spring, and we planted spinach seeds.

We captured feelings to help plan for the assembly.

We took time to experience a new classroom material.  Kinetic sand, the class gift from last year’s graduating class, was mesmerizing.  How might play be thoughtfully used in the fifth grade classroom this year?  Students reflected in writing what they thought about and how they felt after 10 minutes of quiet time exploring.  Many reported a sense of calm.  Some wrote about what they thought about.
Using a technique known as “synectics,” students made unpredictable connections to the notion of community.
We created a list of dispositions necessary in the math classroom.  Fifth graders discussed why stick-with-it-ness is essential to having the right “mathitude,” or math attitude.  We also cheered for math to help with our mindsets.  Thank you to parents for helping our data collection.  To date there is not one singular definition for math, and we appreciate you expanding our thinking.
This week, the mirror in our room asked students a provocative question with the intention of making it clear that infusing joy is essential to our education. 
Our first week in fifth grade felt joyful to me. I wonder how students felt.