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The First Six Weeks
Old 08-17-2011, 08:00 PM
 
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I read "Teaching Children to Care" and then bought "The First Six Weeks of School", which I am reading now. If any of you have seen my previous post, my grade will be departmentalized this year. Since this approach is something I am trying alone, I will only be implementing it with my homeroom. After looking at the schedules presented for my grade level, I have some concerns. The first is that I know my team will want to begin switching by the 3rd or 4th day of school. I cannot justify starting curriculum with my non-homeroom group while continuing with the plans laid out in the book with my homeroom. Is there any way to squeeze those first two weeks into two days? I doubt I'll win the battle if I ask that we postpone switching for a full week, let alone two. Also, I feel like I will be isolating my students from the other classes by forcing them to play class games at recess while the other classes have a free-for -all. I know it's for the best to help them bond as a group, but I don't want them to be resentful. Are any of you encountering these challenges as the only person at your school using RC? Any suggestions for how to deal with these concerns? Thanks!


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RC - me too
Old 08-29-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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"The First Six Weeks of School" is geared toward self-contained classrooms so you simply need to tweek and adjust the way you approach it with your homeroom. I plan to use "Responsive Classroom" this year also and I switch every forty minutes. I plan to do it only with my homeroom class which I also have for "Science, Literature, and Religion." I also plan on doing "Morning Meeting" type activities just once a week because of time constraints. I think that the important thing is modeling the behaviors, and social and academic skills that you want your children to follow which can be done througout the day. Good luck.
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Suggestion
Old 09-01-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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I think that if you take components of the first six weeks of school and introduce them (as needed) with all of your class periods, you should be all right. Each class you see (in addition to your homeroom) will need to be introduced to the expectations of your classroom, where supplies are stored and how to handle them properly, and what routines to follow when in your class and what appropriate behavior looks like in your classroom. You may want each class period to design their own rules and establish hopes & dreams as well. Even if you start switching classes on the first or second day of school, you should use the time with all of your students to create community in each class period by playing games, get-to-know-you activities and all the other suggestions The First Six Weeks of School suggests.

I don't usually do the entire first 6 weeks of school as it is laid out in the book, simply because there is not enough time and too much content that needs to be covered. However, it is possible to start your curriculum and add in the components such as teaching routines, doing guided discovery, etc. as needed. It's a juggling act, but what about teaching isn't?

Also, about recess: I have found that if you are out with "your kids" playing games, a lot of times other students will want to join in. I think that that can be a very positive way to build a school community which will help to foster relationships across homerooms.
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Thanks!
Old 09-10-2011, 04:31 PM
 
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School started a couple of weeks ago for me. I have pretty much been doing what both of you said...using bits and pieces of the book, but not all. I abandoned the morning meetings because there just isn't time for it with my homeroom class if I want to get through everything. I plan on having class meetings as necessary to deal with issues that may arise, though. We did some of the activities in the book like the colored dot game, birthday line up, etc. I am not sure how to go about working on their hopes and reams with them. I teach reading and writing, so I think it would be a great writing piece to start with in all my classes. Any tips?
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