First Grade, Kayla Lane

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Hello AJA Parents and Families!

I wanted to get my first post up and going, as this will be the format in which I provide weekly snapshots about what we did in class (the previous week) and a preview of what we will be doing in class the coming week.

First of all, an important announcement: We are the……EXPLORING HAMSTERS! The class had so much fun learning how to democratically vote on a name, and I can’t wait to dig into the ideas of exploration and adventure with these kiddos.

Second of all, our class is AMAZING! Seriously. They are all so sweet and inquisitive, eager to learn and do their best. First grade is a year in which tremendous growth takes place (both academically and emotionally), and I am excited to be along for the ride.

The first week was a whirlwind of learning procedures, routines, schedules, and just getting back into the swing of things. As part of building our class community, we played team-building games and have been sending home the Unicorn Bag each day with a classmate. He or she then shares treasures from home that tell about themselves during Morning Meeting, and I love seeing these students encourage and affirm each other.

We learned our class jobs, and these will change every week. We practiced yoga twice a week, and did our first guided meditation, which I will do at least once a week. I also introduced several Mindfulness exercises, including Sound Awareness and Eye-to-Eye. I always say that mindfulness is paying attention with kindness, and it is something so helpful to us all!

We learned about the Safe Place and practices the conflict-resolution method of Conscious Discipline, the Time Machine. We also learned about the 8 Smarts (or Multiple Intelligences), really discussing how there are so many ways to be smart and that’s what makes us all unique!

For academics: First, we did some phonetic spelling, dictation, and writing- more of an informal assessment for myself to see where they were. We also worked on our Beginning of the Year Math Assessment, which, like the reading and spelling, requires a one-on-one time with Ms. Lane.

My goals for the first week and this one are both very similar (and the first five of these will continue through the year…everything is a process!): 1) to learn how we can make our classroom and school a place where we feel safe and respected (and can respect others, 2) to practice expressing our emotions and finding our voice in appropriate ways, 3) to make connections with each other and me, to grow our relationships with each other, 4) learning how to self-regulate our needs and wants, to make choices about what works best for us, to understand that there will be natural consequences for certain choices we make, and to learn how to solve our conflicts in respectful, meaningful ways.

This week, we will be doing our first lessons in our ELA and Math curriculum, hold our first scientific experiments to learn the scientific method in a hands-on manner, and begin our first lessons in Social Studies via geography as we learn the Continents and community service and roles as we discuss the disaster of Hurricane Harvey. My goals for this week as we do our first 3-4 lessons in math and reading are to begin the reading and spelling BOY assessments (and try to get through half!), finish our Math assessment, practice and build our stamina for our center rotations/transitions/attention getters, and learn our homework procedure to be ready for our first packet on Monday.

This weekly snapshot will be more academically detailed as the year goes on…the first two weeks are really just establishing norms. Let me know if you have any questions!

And enjoy these pictures of some of what we did last week! These will usually come out on Monday, once I get more into the swing of things! Thank you all for being so understanding of my limitations of mobility and physical capability right now…these will improve very soon! 😀