"The First Six Weeks of School"

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pisces_Fish, May 15, 2008.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,735
    Likes Received:
    5

    May 15, 2008

    Has anyone ever used this book? How closely did you follow the guidelines? I started reading it the other day, and although I like the whole premise, I'm unsure of it's practicality. I know the book keeps stressing that the time "wasted" on building your classroom community during the first 6 weeks will be regained later, but I'm worried how to "keep up" with the other teachers in my school. I've heard that all teachers at my new school (I'll be first year) work closely together to plan all their lessons and units. We have weekly PLC meetings and bi-monthly all-day meetings to plan together (they hire us subs...so cool).

    Anyway, maybe as I finish reading the book this will become clearer, but how can I balance the pace of curriculum with the First Six Weeks model?

    Does anyone care to share their experiences using the book as a guide?
     
  2.  
  3. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,731
    Likes Received:
    3

    May 15, 2008

    I've read it but I didn't follow it that closely. There are some great models and ideas though!
     
  4. New3rdTeacher

    New3rdTeacher Comrade

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 15, 2008

    Unfortunately I didn't connect with that book :( I wanted to!
     
  5. 3rdgraderules!

    3rdgraderules! Rookie

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 15, 2008

    Used it and loved it!

    For the last two years, I have used the First Six Weeks of School, pretty much to the letter. I attended a Responsive Classroom one week seminar and was impressed by the results that others had seen. I struggled with the idea of academics being put on hold at first, but after seeing how well my students were able to work together and show independence after the beginning of the year, I was convinced. I would suggest letting the core ideas be your guide, while giving yourself the flexibility to hold onto those parts of the start of school that you value most. The ideas shouldn't replace what you do, they should help you organize and strengthen the beginning of your school year.
     
  6. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 15, 2008

    I also attended the Responsive Classroom 1 week training and recommend it highly. I found it difficult to use the First 6 weeks of School book, but I think, like 3rdgraderules said, using the key points as a guide is very very helpful. My advice is also not to bite off everything the first time through. I added morning meeting ala Responsive Classroom this year and next year will begin to implement more of the guided discoveries etc.
     
  7. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 15, 2008

    Can someone expand on "The First Six Weeks of School"?
    Who is the author? What is it about? Is it geared towards older grades? YOunger grades? Can you see it working well in first grade, or is there a lot of adapting needed? (I'm all for adapting when necessary, but sometimes it's too much and just not doable.)
     
  8. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 15, 2008

    check it out on www.amazon.com ! they will have descriptions and user reviews. :)
     
  9. MJH

    MJH Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 15, 2008

    All Grades

    The Responsive Classroom Approach can be used in all grades. I used The First Six Weeks by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete can be adapted to any grade level as well. I used it when I taught kindergarten (10 years) The book is divided by grades. The first section is K-2, second section grades 3-4 and the last for 5-6.

    I love using this book as a guide. I don't follow it exactly but I do use a lot of the ideas and activities. I too have attend the 1 week conference and then when it was brought to my district my school was used by the trainers to and since we had been using it some of the teachers and myself were asked to work along side the trainers so we could give the practical application. Now that I've changed districts I still use this approach.
     
  10. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 15, 2008

    I did it to the letter for four years, and this year totally slacked on it, and really feel like I am reaping the consequences for that one. My group of girls is vicious and gossipy and my boys tease one another constantly. I am really regretting how little community building I did this year (I slacked on it because I looped with half my class, so I figured we HAD all the community stuff down!)

    I still do my management more or less the same, it's the morning meetings and closing circles I have stopped doing. It really makes a difference. I still did the guided discovery, the expectations and the goal making exercises at the beginning of the year. I just sort of lost it on the actual meetings.

    I am opening that book and following it to the T next year!! I also love the Morning Meeting Book, Classroom Spaces that Work book and a few others in the responsive classroom series.
     
  11. TeachyBon

    TeachyBon Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 17, 2008

    I followed it to a T this year, and had my best year ever! It has made such a difference in the whole atmosphere of my classroom. I recommend it, and will start next year the same way!
     
  12. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,482
    Likes Received:
    97

    May 18, 2008

    I'm intrigued. I have never even heard of this book. I may have to look into it some more. Six weeks though, that's more than half of the first quarter! That is a lot of missed teaching time. I'm sure you don't do only community building for six weeks and no instruction what so ever, but I would be so far behind in subjects like science and social studies and religion I would probably start having panic attacks in March.
     
  13. TeachyBon

    TeachyBon Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 18, 2008

    I was worried about it too, but it really isn't six weeks of missed teaching time.

    What the book really comes down to is planning ahead - thinking of your expectations, routines, etc. Usually, students willl do what's expected of them - but they have to know what's expected (yes, yes of course there is always that ONE that knows, but goes ahead raising heck anyway!). I created a PowerPoint that covered EVERYTHING in depth.. from the minute they walk out of the door until dismissal. With the students, we would go back and reevaluate - make sure we were sticking to our plans and how could things run more smoothly. I let them make suggestions for changes, and their suggestions were generally really good! We reviewed the PP after holiday breaks, and even now if things start getting a little out of hand I say "Sounds like we need to review Welcome to Fourth Grade" and that stops them in their tracks. They can recite it by memory now :)
     
  14. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 18, 2008

    You absolutely do instruction during the first six weeks... but you also do community building. If you commit to the process it will make instruction easier in the long run, as kids are more invested in one another and what goes on in the classroom.

    But you ease into it. I think I introduce 3-4 things a day.
     
  15. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Messages:
    10,120
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 18, 2008

  16. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 18, 2008

    In my school, I know teachers who follow The First Six Weeks closely, and others who don't at all. You can really tell who sets up their classrooms with the stronger communities. The students truly are more on task, kind, independent, and successful in the Six Weeks rooms than in the others.

    I didn't follow it to a T, and I wish I had! If you're worried about losing a lot of instructional time, you don't actually. They only plan three weeks of hardcore routine learning, and there are academics embedded in it (for example, in primary grades, doing graphing and writing; in intermediate and middle grades, writing and sharing with the class). It may not align with the curriculum specifically, but not having to lecture students later on about how to behave, how to not interrupt others, etc is invaluable!
     
  17. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    May 18, 2008

    I will definitely be getting this book!
     
  18. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,563
    Likes Received:
    4

    May 18, 2008

    okay so is The Responsive Classroom part of The First Six Weeks"

    I'd also like to know how The First Six Weeks differs from Harry Wong's The First Days of School
     
  19. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,482
    Likes Received:
    97

    May 18, 2008

    I went to the bookstore and ordered The First Six Weeks of School. It should be here in the next week or so. I also picked up a copy of Harry Wong's book. Maybe we should start some sort of summer reading group with these two books. Anyone interested?
     
  20. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 18, 2008

    I know our admin. ordered Teaching Children to Care for all of us to read this summer.That's another great one!
     
  21. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,735
    Likes Received:
    5

    May 18, 2008

    Well, it sounds like I'll be following this book closely. I have heard great things about it for some time, but I didn't order the book until I got my first job and thought, "Ok this is for real now!" :lol:

    I also whipped out the "old favorites" like Wong and Jones.

    I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Six Weeks. It sounds like it is time well spent. I'm just worried I'll be expected to keep up with the grade level team from the start. Maybe I'll ask about implementing this - who knows, maybe they already do!
     
  22. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,735
    Likes Received:
    5

    May 18, 2008

    I'm in!

    I'd like to also suggest Jones' Tools for Teachers?

    Wong's book kinda irritates me :lol: but there's definitely some stuff in there I use, and re-reading it won't hurt.
     
  23. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    May 18, 2008

    rws-I would love to join this book club! Let me know when so I can get the book beforehand.
     
  24. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,482
    Likes Received:
    97

    May 18, 2008

    I wont have my First Six Weeks for at least a week, and I'm still trying to get things finished up at school. I know some people still have classes after Memorial Day, but how does June 1 (or thereabouts) sound to everyone?
     
  25. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    May 18, 2008

    That sounds great! I'll be able to buy it by then. I guess on June 1, we can start a thread in Teacher Time out
     
  26. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,735
    Likes Received:
    5

    May 19, 2008

    I'll be there... :)
     
  27. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 19, 2008

    Count me in too! :)
     
  28. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 19, 2008

    I ordered mine from an inter-library loan - I hope it'll be here by then!
     
  29. MsDeb

    MsDeb Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 19, 2008

    Can I join too?
    I've been meaning to go buy a copy...........

    :)
     
  30. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,482
    Likes Received:
    97

    May 19, 2008

    All are welcome. I bought the Wong book, but I'm not overly impressed yet. I don't understand the whole "Procedures have no rewards or consequnces" idea. If a child repeatedly decides not to follow the procedure and winds up causing problems for the rest of the room, consequences will follow. I don't quite understand how procedures are not behaviors, how procedures are supposed to be different from rules. Aren't rules also supposed to help make things run smoothly?
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. futuremathsprof
Total: 417 (members: 2, guests: 396, robots: 19)
test