Tuesday, September 2, 2008



And of course she waited until all of our out-of-town guests left to go home after her birthday party.  Anyway, here is Mdx!  She finally realized that she doesn't have to be holding on to anything!  YAY!!  She walked almost all the way across the room, it was so cool.  I can't wait to wake her up in the morning and see if she does it again.  

Now, if she could just figure out how to use a sippy cup.....

Today was my first day with students at The Dream.  I went in early, even though I didn't have to be there until 10 because I wanted to see how the morning program works.  The kids were getting off the buses, and filing into the school...past the sign that says "The only headgear allowed through these doors is a graduation cap!"  In the lobby there was a line of some Execs from the Inc., the Principal, Asst. Principal, School Resource Officer and a few other people.  The dreamers go right down the line shaking each person's hand and saying "Good morning!".  We call that "Code switching"; getting the students to mentally switch out of neighborhood mode and into school and learning.  Their uniforms get inspected during this line as well- I think it's a great idea!  I saw a few kids who were already trying to push the limits of the uniform.  Saggy pants get one warning...and then they have to wear suspenders for the rest of the day!  Haha!

I made out the list of what I wanted to do in class and wrote it on the board.  I think it always helps the students to see what the plan is for the day.  I don't write it in much detail, just one or two words to remind me of what is coming next.  

For instance:  Today's 6th grade class

Door (teachers meet students at the door at the beginning of every class)
Seats (told them to sit in the front row, only for now)
Introduction (about me, then take attendance)
Procedure (what I expect them to do every day once they come in the door, without me asking or reminding them)
Practice (we actually went back to the door and they practiced the procedure I just asked them to do)
Syllabus (we read it out loud, and have questions/discussion so there are no issues later on)
Portfolio (introduction to their notebook which will collect their assignments and stay in my room)
Written Assignment: "What are your expectations and goals for Orchestra this year?"  Write a paragraph using complete sentences, correct grammar, and punctuation.
Tomorrow (tell them what we will do tomorrow)

As the year goes on I will probably write less and less on the board, but the information is good for the students to have until they get to know me and how I work.  There were a few kids who tried to see what they could get away with today, such as talking when I'm talking, one girl doing her hair, etc.  I nipped it in the bud.  The talker got "the look", and then I told him I'd wait for him to finish his conversation because I didn't want to be rude and talk while he was talking.  That made him stop pretty fast.  The hair girl got moved to the seat next to me, where everyone could see her, and suddenly she didn't feel like doing her hair any longer.  One of the other teachers told me not to smile at them for the first month of school.  I find that pretty difficult- but if that's what I have to do....I'll do it!