There is something majestic about the first grade year; it probably has something to do with the four talented ladies you see pictured here: Judy King, Emily Stanley, Kim Boehringer, and Stephanie Daniell. Most first graders have at least one year of “real school” under their belts at this point, however, the experience in first grade presents many additional “first moments” once again. Take the comment noted by one first grade friend I interviewed: “Did you know, Mrs. Van, that in first grade we are NOT babies; we are first graders?!” Or how about this observation from another friend: “We have more rules and lots of writing everyday; my brain gets tired.” Another friend offered: “Read-aloud is my favorite time of day; her stories are historical (hysterical)!” I especially smile when I recall this piece of important advice: “You better get that homework done; she means it!”
First grade begins the important journey of building and spiraling core curriculum and we are blessed with a strong team of experienced teachers to lead them this year! These ladies believe in placing learners first by teaching responsibility for personal choices and actions everyday. When a young learner begins to grow more independent in his or her individual critical thinking, so many other pieces of the educational puzzle begin to fall into place. The one most important learning opportunity you must always foster in young learners is a love of reading. So much emphasis is placed on this skill in Kinder and 1st grades because reading is THE foundation for all the other core curriculum areas.
Our first grade team created a program called “Mystery Reader” each week. They invite guests and “celebrities” to visit the classroom (after building the suspense all week) as a mystery reader to share a favorite story or book. This simple yet powerful activity sets a tone and sends a positive message to each learner about the importance of reading. We hope to have you join us in the near future in this capacity. In the meantime, as another first grade learner shared: “It’s not a mystery that my teacher loves me and puts me first…I’m in first grade you know!”
I continue to be amazed with you, Mrs. Van Am. I love your blog and am glad that you take the time to write the posts and share with us your adventure, along with the many adventures that take place daily at Miller Elementary.
I cherish the stories you share about young learners. They make me smile.
I have always told anyone who was willing to listen to me that the hardest job in the world is being a kid. There is a lot of work and learning to be done in our earliest years. Your stories bolster my view further.
Thank you for the blog, for spotlighting your fabulous staff and their dedication, for the insight into what learning encompasses and all your enthusiam.
Hope your Labor Day weekend is relaxing.
WOW! Many thanks for the kind comments and compliments; I’m thrilled someone enJOYs reading my perspective (perhaps my family will now?). 🙂
You are quite correct–THE hardest job in the world is being a child; the second hardest is parenting the child . . . you are doing a great job on this front!
If you have topic ideas or things you want to know, never hesitate to ask. I always have something to say . . . take care, BVA