SOLSC: March 1, 2016 – “Welcome, March…”

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Goodbye-February-Hello-March-Instagram-3

 

March… the last full month of the school year, when every week stretches ahead as a school week.  There are no breaks or long weekends in March!  Somehow, when I tear off February and look at the month of March on the calendar above my desk, my heart does a flip and and a dive. The. Last. Full. Month.

On Monday afternoon, I closed February the way I have for the last thirteen years – I moved furniture in my classroom.  My sixth graders have grown in more ways than just reading and writing and thinking, they are now taller, looser limbed and kind of gangly (well, at least the boys are!).  Towards the end of every February, it seems, we run out of classroom space.  Suddenly we are crashing into each other, smooshing by teenier spaces between desks, and having to scrunch up at every step and turn.  So…time to move furniture, make more space here, put things in storage there.  February’s last task is becoming inventive with space.

As I move a book  cases and reorient desks, chairs, and all the other stuff of classroom life, I find traces of the first days of school: a box of brand new pencils proudly labeled for sixth grade use, name tags with beautiful show-offy penmanship, that summer reading packet which vanished before it had a chance to be shared, the fifth grade photographs which hung on our “Welcome to 6th. Grade” bulletin board, the books I had given up hope of ever reshelving again.  The traces of how we began our year, when everything was brand new and just ahead.

Now we are friends, a community of learners, a collection of distinct personalities.  Sixth grade is no longer a mystery, and we have settled in.

Before I turn off our classroom lights, I try to imagine my kids in their “new” space.   They will have opinions and suggestions, as they always do.  They will probably test the limits of  the “extra” elbow and leg room, as they always do.  And then we will settle down to learn, as we always do.

Welcome, March, be good to us…we have so much to do!

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27 thoughts on “SOLSC: March 1, 2016 – “Welcome, March…”

  1. I miss those classroom routines as the year goes by. As each new season begins, I think about what I used to do with the kids at that time. Moving furniture sounds like a good way to ease into Spring and all its wonders. It must be fun to have sixth graders!

  2. Oh I bet they will test the limits of that new space before they move in to fill it perfectly. In my world, March means a break – 2 weeks off mid month. The count down is on!

  3. It is a new season. They are bursting with energy.Mine are getting ready for the world of middle school. They are stretching and pushing. Reading for the next leap. Beautiful slice.

  4. Yay March and reading my first Slice in Cancun!!!!
    I LOVE how you notice how kids change in your space
    My sixth graders have grown in more ways than just reading and writing and thinking, they are now taller, looser limbed and kind of gangly (well, at least the boys are!). Towards the end of every February, it seems, we run out of classroom space. Suddenly we are crashing into each other, smooshing by teenier spaces between desks, and having to scrunch up at every step and turn. So…time to move furniture, make more space here, put things in storage there. February’s last task is becoming inventive with space.

    It’s so loving… and caring on your part to notice the whole child and what the space should and can offer her/him…
    Amazing things can be done with what you are given. Just think of what doesn’t happen in other classrooms…
    Lucky Smith kids, I’d say.
    BK

  5. I’m smitten by your end-of-Feb. tradition of reorganizing and reimagining your classroom space for your students. They’re so fortunate to have a teacher in tune with their needs as growing, thinking people.

  6. Tara, I love how you end February and begin March. Today we don’t have school (because of voting for Super Tuesday) and my plan is to go in and move things around for my sixth graders. LOVE this!

  7. I did the same thing yesterday! We really are peas from the same pod. March feels like it could go on forever but it also flows because the kids get the routine so well. It has its curses and blessings for sure.

  8. Teachers are working at the high school to redefine learning spaces. Some classrooms have rows of desks, but others have tables and collaboration spaces. I am hopeful that my son gets more of the latter when he heads off to the high school, so that his learning can feel collaborative and boundless. Thank you for sharing.

  9. After our Expo was that “turning”, knowing that the rest of the year would fly. I love the excitement you’ve shown in this, that final “full” month. Some would bemoan no breaks, but you are savoring the time you’ll have. Slicing offers a different flavor too, doesn’t it? Have a wonderful March, Tara.

  10. The Smithlings are so blessed to have you. You are intuitive to their needs before they know they need something. Your details of the remnants of the beginning of the year speak to the noticing teacher you are. Awesome!

  11. Oh to be a learner in your classroom! I love how you capture the devotion, reflection, and insight that go into your February classroom renovations. It makes me mindful of the learning space in my room…and how growth often requires change.

  12. Love your thoughts on the month of March. Sort of a new beginning, a fresh start, open eyes with lots of reading, learning, and thinking to be had all month long!

  13. I remember how the little sixth graders who entered my room in August somehow seemed to turn into big sixth graders somewhere in the middle of the school year without me even noticing that it was happening.

  14. It’s goofy, but one of the things I miss the most about not having a classroom is the moving of furniture. There is something defining about the need to change a classroom arrangement to better fit the needs of students.
    Happy Slicing!

  15. In my new position, I realized that I only have about a month and a half left of school myself. Yikes! I love the words you gave to classroom space. I too am noticing that my kids are bumping into each other a lot. Perhaps a rearrangement is in order. Thank you for the inspiration!

  16. I teach fifth grade and my students have grown in so many ways as well. Our space seems tighter than it did when we started in August. Perhaps it’s time for a new arrangement in my room too. Enjoy your last full month.

  17. I’m ready for March this year! I noticed that a lot of us are Slicing for the 3rd year. Thank you for continuing to support us in our writing adventures, Tara, and all the Two Writing Teachers blog friends!

  18. Every time you write about your classroom, I want to come in and be there. You pay close attention to the little things. I know what you mean about rearranging and needing to re-engage. I hope you do get some time off around Easter. We have the week after off. Happy day one!

  19. Tara,
    I love the picture of re-arranging the room in order to literally “make room” for those growing bodies! The calmness, the care . . . I so want to visit your room!

  20. Classroom routines, love that. And the realizing that March is a full month…every month seems to have early releases of sorts or holidays. Happy slicing.

  21. Pingback: Day 8: March is the Snowiest Month – Write Another One

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