Well – we finally did it! We finished our Code of Cooperation this week and celebrated by signing with our “high fives” to being brave. I firmly believe, we would not have gotten to this point of understanding without a little help my friends. Picture books
I blogged earlier about how I wanted to attempt creating our code of cooperation. And as most things go – well they didn’t go exactly as I thought them out in my head. Let me describe our dynamic group this year (and I am in NO WAY complaining) – we have 21 bright and shining faces each morning. 7 of those faces started kindergarten this year without any experience of what school will be like. 5 of our 21 lovies have major difficulties with the structure of school and with self control (3 have diagnosis). 21 of 21 are AMAZING, LOVING, and INSPIRING to their teacher. We work hard every day to not let our difficulties get in the way of our learning. What are difficulties did do was drastically alter the way I thought creating our code would go. We MODEL constantly – which is good, recommended, and expected. So much of the reading aloud time I thought I would have was being used for modeling, redirecting, and diffusing difficulties we were having.
I had to take a moment and breathe – remind myself that what I was doing and what I wanted to do were both very important and somehow they would mesh together. Even if that meant reading a book a little bit at a time until I could read the whole thing again. We took baby steps with our routines, procedures, and even with read alouds. So as I was trying to implicitly approach the ideas of what our classroom could be through picture books, I was also explicitly approaching them with modeling – trying to downplay our difficulties and highlight our strengths. We all work together.
Long story short – these are the books we have read, and continue to reread. We even could make connections between books along the way – which made this teacher overjoyed.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Armadillo Tattletale by Helen Ketteman
The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
Sheila Rae the Brave by Kevin Henkes
Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big by Berkeley Breathed
Our Anthems for this year: