Although I had two days of work last week with my new colleagues, today marked the official first day of school. It's a weird week, what with Monday being a holiday for Labor Day, and I'll be out Thursday because Rosh Hashanah is early this year, but I think I'm off to a great start. The kids are adorable, polite, and curious. I'm sure teaching kindergarten tomorrow morning may cause everything to fly out the window (not only is tomorrow their first day of school, for many of them, it's their first day at THIS school, so I have my work cut out for me), but today was a promising start.
I started by welcoming students and introducing myself, then I asked them to introduce themselves and tell me something about themselves. Given that these were first and second graders, we had some lovely tangents where everyone wanted to offer their favorite color or chime in that they had also been to that amusement part, but that's part of the fun. Then I gave the students a chance to ask me some questions - I think my favorite was "why are you wearing pink nail polish today if pink isn't your favorite color?"
Then we did a little bit of routine setting when I demonstrated the wind chime I bought from Amazon. I had an instructor in grad school who used the chime to get our attention, and I found it an effective method, so I decided to deploy it from the get-go. I explained to the kids that when they heard the chime, they needed to stop what they were doing and fall silent, then I had them practice talking gobbeldy-gook to their neighbor and falling silent. They aced it.
We closed by reading the lovely Sky Color by Peter Reynolds (who is local! He may be on my list now for an author study/visit), which I found out about on a blog talking about a "no rules" first day. I read the kids the story, then asked them to think about why I had chosen it. They gave their guesses, then I told them that I hope that library will be a place where they can be creative, use their imaginations, make things, and feel safe to experiment and take risks. That's my hope for this year.
My name is Ms. Bery. I am a PK-8 library media specialist in the Boston area. In addition to being a certified school librarian, I am also certified in instructional technology, and have a strong interest in exploring and integrating technology in new and exciting ways in the classroom.
I am also a 2016 PBS LearningMedia Local Digital Innovator, and a 2015 recipient of the Massachusetts School Library Association's President's Award.
Check out the Sandbox for apps and websites I've found useful in supporting student learning and creativity. I also review children's, middle grade, and young adult books on Instagram.
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