My former principal, Dr. Flanagan, used to say that teachers will get a "golden" class once every 7 years. The kind of class with kids that are all super responsible, really good to each other, eager to learn and think your jokes are the funniest thing they've ever heard. You know the kind? Well, I just had a golden class. By June they were editing each other's writing, playing peacemaker for their friends, happily chirping, "That's OK, maybe next time!" when they didn't get a turn and giving each other advice like, "Maybe you should clean up those legos before you go play with the cars." Truly golden!
Now, I understand that according to Dr. Flanagan's odds, the chances are not in my favor of having another "golden class" this year. But heck if I'm not going to try! I'm going to keep my expectations high, arm them with the social and academic tools they need and hope for the best. It's a little overwhelming to think about the difference between my golden "ready for first-grade" bunch that left me in June and the "we just came from preschool" crew hopping into my classroom in a couple of weeks. So, I'm gearing up to start from scratch.
You know the drill for setting up rules, procedures and expectations in the beginning of the year - teach, reteach, teach again - over-teach 'til you're sick of hearing your own voice. With that in mind, I've been working on tweaking my "Good Choices" posters that I made to hang in my room. I turned them into a book for shared reading, pocket chart cards for a class activity and a cut & paste student sort (teach, reteach, teach again...) I thought I would share in case you think they might be helpful for your back to school plans. Wishing you all a "Golden Class!"