It is hard to believe that the first week of school has already passed! It was an amazing first week as I got to meet my students, all 53 of them and begin to build our classroom community with them.
As I teach Language and Math to two groups, it is important to invest time and energy in developing relationships with my students through various challenges which allow them to problem solve, think critically, collaborate, and get to know each other and me.
This past week students worked through the Marshmallow Challenge. They were asked to form a group of 3 or 4 and work collaboratively to complete the challenge. Together we developed criteria, worked collaboratively, and reflected on the process. Together we then co-constructed what collaboration looks like, sounds like, feels like, and we have come to a common understanding of what it truly means to collaborate. As we continue our learning journey we will continue to reflect, and consider what collaboration is, developing success criteria further.
Throughout the Marshmallow challenge, students engaged in the sharing of ideas, construction, and reflection in order to meet with success. The classroom was filled with excitement and students were engaged in the learning process.
Following the actual challenge, students were asked to reflect on the process and record their thinking about what worked well, what would they change, and how they worked as a team in order to accomplish the task.
Sharing our story:
To develop relationships with my students, I shared some artefacts which reflect part of my story. Students were asked to consider the artefacts/evidence and consider Who I am. They were then challenged to consider the question Who Am I? Through the course of this year, identity will be a central theme which we will continue to explore.
Students were challenged to create out of play doh an item which reflects or tells part of their story, who they are. They were also challenged to select two words which connect to the creation, and to them.
We are starting our year with an Inspirational Week of Math! As we work through collaborative math challenges, thanks to the work of Jo Boaler, Professor at Stanford University, students are developing a growth mindset in order to meet the challenges of the grade 6 math curriculum.
Students are excited by the challenges and have engaged in great Math talk, as they work through the challenges, problem solving, thinking critically, explaining and justifying their thinking.
The week of Inspirational math will continue next week, with some great new challenges. Please be sure to check in with your child and check the slides.
It has been a great first week and I look forward to the weeks ahead!