Alas, it has been an incredible week and I am so glad that I agreed to do this inclusion classroom. You learn so much about yourself when you work that closely with other people. I knew I was a control freak, but it's even more evident now that I'm sharing a space with so many other adults.
I'm not used to having so many adults in my classroom at the same time. There is myself, my co-teacher, my intern and my co-teacher's TA. Plus, in theory, the parapro should be in our room too! That is one heck of a lot of adults! This first week it has been very weird to navigate because I typically do not start small groups until after testing is over so that's been weird to try to figure out what to do with all of us adults. (What a great problem to have, am I right?)
But as the week has gone on, we have started to figure it out. By yesterday, my co-teacher and I were even finishing each other's sentences. We're starting to share a brain and it's been pretty fun actually!
We have a sweet class. Our resource friends have struggled some with the adjustment to the face pace of a gen-ed classroom, but all of the other kids have struggled some with the adjustment to the face pace of third grade! So the kids are all in the same boat. It has been pretty awesome to watch their growth already.
Our first math unit is on rounding. It's a tough concept to start with. Last year, I did not use my interactive notebooks because I was new to Go Math and wasn't sure how it would complement it. This year, I was adamant that I wanted to use them. What we decided to do was use the interactive notebook as an introduction to the standard (in this case 3.NBT.1 which is rounding to the nearest 10 or 100). We introduced it on Wednesday with the interactive notebook. Those friends looked at me like I was insane. By yesterday, the light bulbs were starting to come on just a little. By today as we used rounding to estimate sums, at least 19 of the 21 kids had it (on paper). They were so amazed when I reminded them how hard they thought it was on Wednesday when we started this concept.
I am a big advocate for having a growth mindset too so we have talked a lot about not giving up and trying our best and it has been really awesome to already see their self-talk changing. We even had a parent send us a message on Dojo saying that after just four days she can already see the positive change in her child because he comes home happy to learn and is using some of the breathing exercises we have taught them in class. Be still my heart! <3
It hasn't been the easiest week; I have worked myself to the bone (I put in a 13 hour day on Thursday), but I am so incredibly blessed and grateful to be where I am. I know these friends need me and I need them. I love what I do and I'm looking forward to resting and rejuvenating next week so we can hit the ground running and make some amazing progress together as learners this year.