This was an exciting week in Reading Workshop. We just started a brand-new author study focusing on the work of Ezra Jack Keats. Keats earned a Caldecott Medal for his book The Snowy Day in 1962, and went on to publish many more gorgeous books. We use his books to study story elements like setting, main characters, fiction vs realistic fiction, and problem/solution. Ezra Jack Keats is a favorite Cooper School author, and we have been enjoying his books very much.
On Monday, students designed and completed a class obstacle course. Students in groups of two or three designed and created an obstacle using items from the backyard and the toy shed. Students selected blocks, hula hoops, jump ropes, and other items to create their obstacle. After an explanation of each, students got to try every obstacle in the course and try to complete every one. Among the outdoor games we have tried this year, this was definitely a favorite!
This week, First Graders learned a valuable tool for calming their bodies and minds called The Core Practice. From the research-based MindUP program, The Core Practice is a short period of deep breathing that students can use when they feel frustrated, angry, or like they are about to make a poor decision. Acting as a kind of emotional an cognitive “reset,” students found the practice to be effective, easy, and fun. Most students reported that there are probably times that The Core Practice would be useful at home, so be on the look-out!