Our sudents started the new school year yesterday. Two days so far to get to know each other. Actually easier for the students than for me, as all my class had been in our three grade 4 classes so they knew each other a bit before starting grade 5. At the same time as the whole extremely important social aspect of the start of school we have all the other starts:
Starting Everyday Maths.
Starting Reader's workshop.
Starting to use the classroom library.
Starting the year long reading assignment.
Starting Writer's workshop.
Starting Learning journals.
Starting Words Their Way spelling.
Starting Handwriting Without Tears.
Starting using macbooks.
Starting using Google mail.
Starting using Google docs.
Starting with blogs.
And all of the various routines... And I am sure I have missed some!
As well as all those, we have Building Learning Power which gives us great new way of helping our students learn. There's a new vocabulary to start using and getting students familiar with so that they can use it when talking about their learning.
And also the first of our new Units of Inquiry. Our first unit for all grades is Learning to Learn developed with the help of Kath Murdoch. A short burst of a unit in itself for a few weeks, to be continued through out the year alongside the other four units. This is the one, if I am totally honest, that I am most interested in! Except for the student blogging... It's a close run thing!
And what are my students most interested in getting started with? Evenly divided between Inquiry Unit about what the Brain has to do with their learning ... and using their new macbooks!
It's hard to get the year started. It really is, especially when you are trying to not tell everyone what to do but have student choice and discussion about what they feel is important and what I feel is important and what the parents feel is important. Our first couple of days have been messy. That's OK. I expect the next few days to be messy too. We'll get there!
And after six days, we have a five day long weekend for Independence day and Idul Fitri!
By then I should be able to write about how we have managed with all our starts!