Monday, March 26, 2012

First Day Back - Slice of Life Challenge

As we did our Monday share in both language arts classes, it was so entertaining and enlightening to hear all the ways my students unwound and relaxed over spring break.

  • played in an AAU basketball tournament and won the championship on the last shot
  • went to an indoor water park in Ohio and spent hours enjoying all the water slides
  • saw the Hunger Games movie (surprised by the number of students that fell in this category)
  • returned to our school after doing horse training with her mom the last three months in Florida
  • numerous sleepovers (or as our classes call them, stay-up-overs)
  • shopped
  • played video games
  • read
  • visited New York City and even got to see the wolf diorama at the American Museum of Natural History that was featured in Wonderstruck
  • traveled to spend time with relatives, both far and near
  • played in a soccer tournament
  • watched movies at home
  • many hours spent playing outdoors in the beautiful weather in Ohio last week
  • many hours spent watching the NCAA basketball tournament
  • visited COSI and the Columbus Zoo 
  • skiied in Colorado
  • visited DisneyWorld for the very first time and got LOTS of autographs

My take-away from all these shares is how critical it is to remember what interests my students have outside of school, what they care about.  Monday share is a great vehicle to do just that.  Hopefully, my students have come back to school as rested and rejuvenated as I have.  Looking forward to a great last nine weeks with these two groups of 5th graders!!

As always, thanks to Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers for hosting the Slice of Life Challenge!


  1. You're so right about us needing to stay in tune with what drives our students. Thanks for the reminder. I'm not gonna wish away spring break (which is still 3 weeks away), but I'm already looking forward to the share time we can have when we return.

  2. Sounds like your students will have many topics to write about now after a much needed brain break. It's time for that wind up--the last 9 weeks. Good luck.

  3. Karen you bring up a very good point. Knowing the interest of my students was so much easier when my own kids were younger. Now that my girls are 15 and 18 I struggle to keep up with first grade interest!

  4. We all learn better (I think) when we feel someone knows and cares about our lives. Thank you for the reminder. Your students had many adventures.

  5. A very diverse list of things done over spring break. Were you surprised at the ones who traveled out of state?

  6. Love that you took the time to share! I do something similar as well. I use an A-Z chart and my students fill in the various activities (from the most simplest as shopping to big vacations). We talk, share ideas, spark other ideas. Then any one of these ideas are a slice or story to blog about that week!

    Crazy to think -- 9 weeks left?!? I can't even believe it. Enjoy!

  7. It always amazes me how interesting kids' lives are outside of school. It makes me so sad when teachers don't make space for these kinds of conversations. They are so important to the community.

  8. Love this! I think the idea of knowing our students is so important, critical even. It helps develop the basis of our relationships. Glad your kids had a great break!

  9. I know how we can feel so pressed for time and possibly questioned if this is worth it, but it soooooo is. Good for you! Nine weeks - no way!!!!

  10. You are so right to find out all the extraordinary things students do outside! Such a varied list. Love the 'stay-up overs' & just the extra interests your students do. I know about some plans for my school's students this spring break week, but will try to ask more next week. Hope you have a very good week back!

  11. I too had similar first days back. It was so nice to hear about what they enjoy and shaped them where they are right now.

  12. So true! It is also is a great reminder of how important that time off is for students and their families. Hope you are having a great first week back.