The day started well- we set an intention to be grateful, sang “Happy Birthday” to M, the last one to turn 10 and the continued with Morning Meeting. At the end of the meeting, after we had greeted, shared, done an activity together and worked on number visuals we could squeeze in one more thing.
“When are we going to use the book you told us to have ready?” T asked.
“You are reading my mind!” I answered. “I am going to put you in your own breakout room for you to read for a few minutes. Ms. Nhoep, Ms. Takayo, and I are going to get to as many breakout rooms as we can in the next few minutes to have quick conferences with you.”
I sent them on their ways, but they were clearly confused- a breakout room alone.
I popped into the first one and asked M what he was reading. “ Still Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” he said.
“Will you read me a bit from where you are?” I asked. He did and then hesitated on the word “phony”.
“Do you know what that means?”
“No, but maybe it means fake, not real,” M answered.
“You just used some real reading skills, figuring out the new word while you were reading,” I said.
We were actually having a real discussion about reading- a great beginning of the year reading conference. If I squinted my eyes to make it blurry I could almost believe he was in the classroom next to me instead of at his home on Zoom.
Those feeling like we are in the classroom moments are the ones I hang onto in these challenging times. We are not sure when we will be in the classroom together, but we are gradually building routines that will serve us well online and in person.
I got to confer with a few readers today as did the TA and learning support teacher also “in the (Zoom) room” and it felt just right.