Technically we went back to school last Thursday. However, we got out early and then had a snow day on Friday. So I'm calling today our official first day back. We got off to a fresh start!
I used an idea that I found on Mrs. Robinson's Classroom Blog. She had her students answer six questions on how to make them and their classroom function. I chose 5 of them.
~ What should students in our class be doing to make sure it runs as smooth as possible?
~ What do you need to do in order to be successful this year?
~ Our classroom should be everyday.
~ What will Mrs. S. need to do help you this year?
~ What do you hope to learn in class this year?
I wrote one question on each piece of chart paper and handed out post-it notes to each student. I asked them to answer each question at least once and they could answer it more than once if they chose.
The students then walked around and answered each of these questions.
I used colored post-it notes to really make their answers "pop." It worked because my next class came in and noticed them right away. Some of the answers were a tad silly and not completely meaningful, but I definitely did get a lot of information from them!
For example, many students said that our classroom should be 'fun' everyday.
So I took this idea and ran with it. I asked them how they think our classroom could be more fun, keeping in mind that it was a "reading class" (i.e. ~ pizza party and extra recess every day were not well-thought out answers). This is where I really got my answers. Many students said they want to do more projects and more collaborative group work. I told them that this was definitely something we could do in our classroom.
It was a great conversation to have with my students. I felt as though I learned a lot from them today and earned their respect because I asked them what they wanted to do. I've never asked a class that before! They gave me many ideas and I have a lot to think about. I'm curious to see where it will take us.
Hope you had a great Monday!