For the second year in a row, I participated in #ShadowaStudent Challenge to gain insight and perspective on being a student at Hamden Hall. What a great surprise to feel so welcomed into the 2nd grade classroom with my own desk, laminated name tag, book bag, and cubby!
Here are some reflections of my day:
1) 2nd grade desks are SMALL! Even for me. It’s a good thing we didn’t have to sit in them for too long.
2) Morning meeting truly set a positive tone for the day. (just as Responsive Classroom intended). So many important skills were reinforced during this time – taking turns, eye contact, speaking clearly, self reflection, listening…I could go on and on! Loved the dice greeting.
3) Read to Self was so awesome! I curled up with a good book (literally, with pillows on a comfy rug) and was able to read 47 pages – the classroom was THAT quiet and focused! (OK. It was a third grade book but it was still quite an achievement!) Yes, some kids were less engaged than others, but overall, it was a very calm and productive time for all. The 10 minute mini-lessons in Vocabulary and “Writer’s Workshop” were just the right amount of time for students to sustain attention and grasp the skills that were being taught.
4) Choices are good and the kids really embraced having them. “Word Work” (my choice) wasn’t your boring 2nd grade daily spelling activities from 1978!
5) Carefully reading each question on a math assessment is still very important. I got one wrong because I didn’t do this! (Oh, and my “classmates” loved calling me out on it.) I was super impressed with the higher order thinking skills required to answer some of the questions on the Money/ Time Assessment. Ending the math block with TIME BINGO was super fun. (and I liked winning two rounds.) I was glad to see that the kids who didn’t win dealt with it just fine and were happy for others.
6) Energizers work! After the Daily 5, Snack, and Math block, I was fried! But, a little Go Noodle really helped. Check out the schedule for the day! WOW!
7) While I still can jump rope forwards and backwards, I cannot do it for 2 Tom Petty songs continuously! (I thought I would die.) Flag tag was a lot of fun but after jumping so much, I was a slow target. Note: I am still sore 3 days later.
8) 30 minutes for lunch was just enough! Kids have interesting eating habits. The swings are still my favorite on the playground.
9) Waiting for water to boil is hard for adults and even harder for 2nd graders. We learned all about the water cycle in Science and the kids totally got it!
Once again, the #Shadowastudent Challenge was a very valuable experience and worth every moment I spent out of my office. I highly recommend it for all teachers and administrators. There is no better way to see life from a student’s perspective.
Thank you to Erin Correa, Cait Murphy, Mark McEachern, Nally Sahin, Steve Jewett and the second graders for welcoming me and making my day so enjoyable! We have amazing things happening at Hamden Hall, and I am so proud to be a part of this learning community.
P. S. Remind me not to #shadowastudent on the same day as the Science Fair next year, though! I was EXHAUSTED!