Mrs. Rodriguez's First Grade Class Blog

Rice Lake Elementary

Day 2

on September 9, 2010

Day 2 was a success! Thank you to all the first graders and families who have turned in ALL the beginning of the year paperwork. the first week of school has more homework for parents than kids! Homework for students will start next week, look for information to come home on Monday. Today I sent home a pink paper about listening conferences. Please make sure that comes back to school tomorrow. I prefer to do listening conferences instead of a curriculum night because I feel it gives me a chance to get to know the first graders and their parents and families better. Please feel free to bring any questions you may have about curriculum to the listening conference.
This afternoon we discussed how at times everyone needs a quiet place to calm down and to think about the choices we are making.  We read the book A Quiet Place by Douglass Wood.  After reading we talked about how we can think of a calm and quiet place when we need to calm down or to regain self-control.  After we talked about that place we used our watercolors to paint a picture. Some students painted an island, others painted a rainbow, and even some painted their bedroom.  We then discussed how in our classroom we need a quiet place to take a break.  I explained how we use our quiet take a break place to stop and think about the choices we are making and what we can do to calm ourselves so we can make good choices.  We said that we could even imagine ourselves in the quiet place we painted a picture of to help us calm down.  I explained that in B3 the take-a-break place is not a bad place, rather a place that can help us.  Sometimes I may send a student to the take-a-break and other times the student may choose to go there themselves.  I also explained that sometime this week EVERYONE, including me, will go to the take-a-break.   I have everyone take-a-break this week so that everyone can practice what it looks like, sounds like, and feels like to take a break.  So if your child comes home and explains that he or she took a break, it is not a negative thing.  We did however discuss that if a child needs to go to take-a-break many times in one day that our learning will suffer.  If it comes to the point where we are not using the take-a-break the correct way, a student may have to take-a-break in the buddy room.  Our buddy room is with 3rd grade teacher Mr. Dylong.  If your child ever has to take a break in the buddy room, I will be sure to have contact with you so we can improve behavior and help your first grader make choices that will not interfere with learning.  If you have any questions about how I use the take-a-break in B3 do not hesitate to ask.  I know each teacher uses a take-a-break differently so it can be confusing.  The main thing to remember is that I do not want a negative feeling attached to the take-a-break, but rather use it as a teaching and learning tool so our first graders can learn to make good choices independently.  The take-a-break method is from the Responsive Classroom approach.  If you want to read more about the Responsive Classroom approach refer to the “About Mrs. Rodriguez” link on our classroom webpage homepage.  On the bottom of the page are links about Responsive Classroom.

Have a wonderful night!

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