Sunday, December 15, 2013

It's Kind of Like Riding a Bike

riding bikes
photo credit jonny.hunter on Flickr

This past Thursday, after 85 phone calls, one of our sub jobs failed to fill. Here's my text message exchange with one of my first grade teachers after 75 calls from our sub system:

And just like that I was teaching first grade. I reviewed the plans, picked up her kids and headed into class. Secretly, I worried I would be out of practice...and I was just a little excited. The kids seemed a little unsure about the principal teaching their class! But, I love to teach! So then I did what substitutes are NOT supposed to do-- I failed to follow most of the plans. Oops.

Now, I did follow the schedule, we did morning meeting and phonics as planned. We went to the computer lab and the kids went to Spanish. But I didn't do a single worksheet, even though there were several listed in the plans. 

I totally get why they were there. It's tough to plan for a random sub when you're sick. But I wasn't just any sub. Luckily for me, first grade is right in the middle of their Winter in the Woodland Project GLAD unit, which I helped create and taught last year. Sweet. I knew what I wanted to do. Reading. Writing. Art. Science. And they have been studying owls...

OWL MOON! My favorite picture book from this unit. Maybe of all time. Ever since I met Jane Yolen in 5th grade I have been a fan. 

We read the book while looking at the pictures, and then watched the video again. While watching the video, the students wrote words that they heard in their writer's notebooks. 

Later in the day, we went to the computer lab where students entered their word lists into a Google form. 

I then used Word It Out to create a word cloud using the words they had written in their notebooks. 

To end this day, we did some owl drawings using this YouTube video. You might want to give it a try! 

So, I found it is kind of like riding a bike! Although I didn't know all of the routines and procedures for this class, all in all it was a good day! I love Owl Moon, I love first grade, and I love, love to teach! Thank you to Mrs. Luhrsen's class for making my day! (I promised them I would blog about it!) 

I may be the principal, but I will always be a teacher.

Check out Mrs. Luhrsen's awesome blog post about dissecting owl pellets!

*To find out more about integrating literacy in the content areas using awesome engagement strategies, check out the Project GLAD website and my recent post about Project GLAD in action at our school!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing these amazing activities. I am inspired to try them with my First grade class.
    Mrs. Carey