What Makes It Feel “Normal”? Familiar Routines Are Needed

#sol20-September 15, 2020

In this time of searching for “the new normal” I am feeling exhausted from the constant change. Friday was our 22nd day of school and we have already “done” online, hybrid A day/B day, and now a week of all students on campus (although three of mine are still online only).

Yesterday we had a PD day and it was a good mix of things that have to get done, some individual and team planning, and even an hour for wellness. I was reflecting on the year so far and realized that the best part of many days was our #classroombookaday time- it just feels “normal”.

While we were hybrid I was torn- I still wanted to read a new picture book each day, but there were some books I did not want students to miss. I compromised by having our TA film me reading some of the books to share with the online/at home students and in some cases repeated a book for the second group. Somehow yesterday our board still showed 23 picture books read (and I am pretty sure that it is already missing a book or two).

I can already see the benefits of this daily read aloud time in our class. The students are speaking more knowledgeably about picture books- throwing around words like end papers and back matter. They are referring to authors and illustrators by name and comparing and contrasting. They have started their own tbr lists (to be read). Our first unit of inquiry was “Who We Are” and there are still so many books I want to read to connect to this.

Our #classroombookaday board is in the grade 3 hallway this year, which means we walk by it often and it ends up being a conversation piece for us and happily the other teachers in the grade are getting book titles they want to share from the visual reminder.

It will surprise nobody who knows me that for our wellness hour yesterday I could be found with a stack of new picture books that I wanted to read before adding to our TBR pile. I got that “normal” feeling of fear that there will never be enough time to read aloud all the great books I want to share with this class! So many books, so little time!

3 thoughts on “What Makes It Feel “Normal”? Familiar Routines Are Needed

  1. I love seeing “I Am Every Good Thing” in that stack. It’s such a wonderful book. I’d love to see your book a day wall. What a wonderful gift to students.

  2. Read aloud is the glue that binds all classes! Thanks for sharing and especially for your slide show of books! Great selection and some I need to add to my pile!

  3. This makes me happy to read this! Congratulations on finding a way to include what really matters to you as a teacher. I agree with you that read aloud is so very important. I’m excited to get to include it some this year, too. And I’m doing a weekly poem to replace my usual daily poem. Compromises. 🙂 Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

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