Friday, June 12, 2015

Tell All Tuesday: Fib Reveal

On Tuesday I linked up with Teach Talk Inspire and My Day in K for a fun game of "Two Truths and a Lie". I am back today to reveal my fib and also share a freebie with you!
  1. (TRUE) I spent a week in Walt Disney World one summer to attend a conference all about Kagan structures. We looked at different intelligences and practicing structures. The structures help students become engaged in curriculum while learning to collaborate with their peers. 
  2. (FALSE) I looped from 2nd Grade to 3rd Grade with my students. I love looping and think that it is very beneficial. Looping with a class can increase learning time because the class can spend less time learning routines at the beginning of the second school year and students gain a sense of stability and constancy.  
  3. (TRUE) I still keep in touch with my favorite elementary school teacher from 4th Grade. Her passion for teaching was so radiating that she inspired me to become a teacher myself.
Number 2 is almost TRUE except for the fact that I didn't loop with my second graders to third...I looped with my first graders to second! Looping with my class was an AWESOME experience and I recommend it to any teacher who has thought about trying out a new grade level. 

Looping with a class has many benefits for both the teacher and the students. Just to name a few:
  • The teacher has fewer students and parents with whom to relate over a longer period of time, allowing for more in depth knowledge about the students and their needs 
  • Learning time increases as the students are already familiar with the teacher and routines during the second year
  • The sense of community in the classroom is stronger; greater support for children who look to school as a stabilizing influence in their lives

Personally, the best part of looping was continuing to build a strong relationship with my students. The year that I looped I didn't have the same butterflies in my stomach because I knew my students strengths and areas for growth right away. From the start of the second year I was able to start differentiating to help my students transition smoothly into second grade. 

Another big difference was my students excitement as they started the second year with me. They came in the first day ready to share all about their summer. Instead of a quiet first day of school when students are still shy, my students were talking up a storm. We still spent some time playing a few fun ice breaker/get to know you games because who doesn't love a fun ice breaker?!?! But then it was right to work! We were able to get started on the curriculum much sooner then all of the other classes. They say to spend the first six weeks working on routines but I would say that we cut that time in half the second year because so many routines my students were able to recall. We didn't have to spend a whole week learning how and where we put away supplies or how I like papers collected.  

I have added the letter, to my TPT store, that I sent to my student's families last year to communicate with them that I would be looping. My principal and I worked together to allow parents input, so with the letter I have also included a parent looping preference form. 

If you ever get the chance to loop...DO IT! I promise you won't regret it! :)

Thank you for stopping by to find out my fib!

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