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March 23, 2021

How It Went... First Day on the 135th Day of School

I don't know what I was expecting, but I didn’t realize I’d be so tired. It was so good to see kids in the classroom and on campus again. Also so many ways to have my attention pulled in multiple directions. I felt the smiles under the masks. I also felt the huge burden of responsibility that we have to keep these kids extra safe. 

School was decorated for the kids. Balloons on the gates, a big welcome sign on the hill. Music blasting from the speakers.  Signs for classes everywhere. Pathways marked with big red arrow stickers.

I met them out in our line and we did the temp checks right away. I snapped their first day on campus pictures. I joked how tall they were, they joked that I had legs. We went over how to give space in line. We had 30 minutes before we had to start the online meeting and we used every moment. 

We went inside and they sanitized. We went over what was in their desks and how to walk in the classroom. How to set up the desk shields. How to drink their water bottles. Using the aisles closest to their desks to give space. We went through their pouches and what was included, that those items were mine and needed to stay in their desks. To keep their things in their backpacks because they have to bring them home again. 

I had used the front table as a paper sorter. I called the kids up randomly to choose a colored stack. They took the colored paper and traced their hands for an art project. 

We went over some on campus rules - some were reminders from the beginning of the year. I had grabbed memes from a Google search to get exactly what I wanted to share. 

We then took a tour of the campus. Showed them our spot for recess, practiced walking around campus, where the bathrooms are, and where we line up for a fire drill. It was a very full 30 minutes.

Then we started our online meeting and I felt some classroom magic when both groups saw and heard each other. Webcam on the kids in class for the kids at home, and my projector on, showing my computer screen so the kids in the classroom could see and hear the kids at home. When I shared my screen the kids both home and school could see it too. 

We did tackle our novel, set up the Science Design Challenge situation, reviewed volume, and did a one pager for SS. Kids were following both places.  It was the normal Week 30 kind of things.  We had recess outside, online was inside chatting, and I got to use my new electric whistle. The kids had PE and then it was time for them to go home. Then it was a quick spray down and set up for tomorrow’s group.  Where I get to do a lot of it all over again...

I had a moment that I knew it was going to be okay.  It was during math.  I did this activity and at one point the in class kids pulled out these linking cubes that were in their pouches.  They were building, and then taking turns coming up to the web cam to show off their rectangular prisms to the kids at home - showing the measurements and the kids at home were figuring out the volume.  It felt right, both connected. We had some laughs.  That was nice.  

Spring is always my most favorite part of the year, when the kids know me, and I know them.  And now finally meeting them face to face was pretty special.  Having them in our space was pretty special.  It was a wonderful day, even though it was exhausting.  

Hope you had a good day too.  

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