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Finding one thing to like: Stories from Twin Cities teachers
Michelle Forsyth, a sixth grade teacher at St. Paul Music Academy, remembers the befuddlement she felt at strange kindergarten practices like marching around the room, or laying on rugs. “We don’t lay on rugs,” she remembers thinking. Her experience taught her the value of making students feel comfortable in the strange experience that is education. Click on her video (above) to hear the tactic she uses to deal with annoying students. Then scroll down to see two teachers explain how a "responsive classroom" works on the first day of school.
No one’s been through as many first days of school as teachers. Read on and listen to teachers describing their funniest first day memories, the strategies they use to start the year off right and their advice for parents. For other stories in this series, see Please don't eat the erasers; Singing, tombstones and tears; How to share an adult; Finding one thing to like; and More fun for students.
Responsive classroom on the first day
Fifth grade teacher Bridget Rettke Berg and second grade teacher Mary Daub hit the right note on the first day at Whittier elementary in Minneapolis by using “responsive classroom” techniques. They join a schoolwide focus on the model that encourages morning meetings, behavior modeling and the idea that everyone’s voice matters. Said Daub, “I always stress to the kids, this is your school family, because sometimes you spend more time here with your classmates and with me than you do with your family.” Click on their video (below) to hear Rettke Berg and Daub talk more about responsive classroom.