It’s funny how I can never be totally satisfied with the way the classroom is running. I guess this is true of most educators. We are constantly tweaking things here and there to make the day run a little more smoothly. One minor change that I made starting today was to flip my math and language arts blocks.
I had always held language arts first thing in the morning, but continually ran into the math block to finish things we needed to get accomplished. I don’t know if it is because the activities I plan for language arts take more thinking time, creating time, or if the kids just take their time, but it wasn’t working!
Especially because we take break with the other fifth grade classes for socialization purposes, the first block is shorter. So today we completed our math activities during that time, and had a nice long block to work on reading and integrated science. Much better!
Today’s challenge was again related to my much-lamented irritation that the kids are not yet independent problem solvers. One of their tasks today was to use their Smart Notebook SE software to create a vocabulary activity that could be shared with the class later in the week. We began by looking at many of the Smart Notebook Activity Toolkit options (of which there are many cool ones!) and talking about how we would choose only those that would be good to help us practice our new landforms vocabulary. Then it was create time. Well, within 2 minutes of “trying” hands were flying up and groaning could be heard. They wanted me to spoon feed them the software rather than trying to get it on their own.
This is not going to happen. We talk all the time in my room about becoming independent problem solvers, and how important it is to work things out the best we can without having to continually ask for help.
I guess we’ll need to keep working on this skill….