I haven’t felt like I’ve been able to trust this class. They throw pencils and crayons at each other, use scissors to cut anything but their paper, and use glue sticks as lollipops… even if we’ve had lessons on how to use things and even with reminders. I let that get to me and I began taking options away and not doing small groups so that I could be there to make sure that they were listening and doing what they needed to. That also limited the fun and enjoyment for both them and me.
On Friday I decided to step back, loosen the reins a bit, and try giving them a little freedom again. We had a mini lesson on buddy reading (we’ve previously only done read to self), making sure to cover the reasons for it and what we should not see.
They surprised me. They quietly read in pairs. They shared the books and decisions over what to read. And their stamina (time reading before getting too loud and playing) lasted 25 minutes, almost double what they could handle in read to self. Even my tough ones.
The rest of the day was much the same. We got everything done. They still played and were true to their age, but they were little learners instead of the usual maniacs that would rather destroy and run off task.
Maybe it was a freak accident. Maybe they were being sensitive to the fact that I was miserable with the sicknesses they gave me. Or maybe this is a start. I’m going to hold onto the hope of the latter.
I’m starting out tomorrow by trusting them and raising my expectations again. Let’s see if we can make this age appropriate, having fun while learning thing work and prove everyone wrong.