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In with the new……Giving Time

September 1, 2012

Love my class. Grade 1. Who couldn’t love 6 year old kids right?
Every year I see a new group of grade 1 learners come streaming through my door. Ive got 13 learners this year. They are all full of questions. Full of enthusiasm and full of energy. I want to say every group is special, but this cohort are  especially so. Even though half of them are new, they have found a connection. I watch them share, think, cooperate and communicate together effectively. This is just after week 1. I see them care for each other, share knowledge and be open minded to others feelings and ideas. This is the grade 1 class I’d want to be in.

Our first week has been about exploring. Tuning in. Discovering the new. Inquiring. Watching my kids interact with each other tells me more than some test. I see whats going on. I learn in context as learners do. My grade 1 were very excited to hear of our share and play time.So what do we do when we first encounter new students? Ask questions. We want to know what they know, where they are from and who they know. New school term, new questions. How many times have we asked questions and met with  a ‘blank’ stare.

Last week, Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher  asked us what the best thing I had done in my classroom. I told her give time. Thinking time. Playing time. TIME!. In the end it is time. Adults need time too. We all need time to think and learn. It seems so obvious and so simple. It is effective. We all need time to follow our inquiries and learn in out own time.

As a teacher of young learners, time needs to be on our side. One thing Ive become over the last few years is that one size does NOT fit all. We do not march to the same beat in education or eat the same breakfast for that matter. We each have out own ways of learning, thinking. Some just need more time that others.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2012 8:59 pm

    Very well said. We often get so caught up in pressure to teach that we forget to give time to learn. To build relationships, collaborate, think, and make sense of the world.

  2. brette lockyer permalink
    September 2, 2012 7:17 am

    Hello Jason
    Great post. I think I could read this every day to remind myself not to rush, not to be such a list-ticker, and to give my students more air-space.
    We have a saying in my Grade Two class: \”good thinkers are not always fast thinkers.\” So we take our time. Online thinking spaces such as our class blog and Voicethread enable us to continue thinking later. Some of the best thinking happens at playtime in conversations while I am on playground duty.

  3. tashacowdy permalink
    September 2, 2012 10:58 am

    I love the post, Jay! Pondering connection this week, I was thinking on the importance of establishing good connections in the immediate environment and the importance of developing a sense of community. Looking forward to connecting with your students and adding your class to our learning community.

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