So due to the increase of third grade FOCUS students from ten at the beginning of the year to 24 or 25 right now, I have split third grade into two separate groups and combined 1st and 2nd grade into one class. As a result of this change, I spent the whole week doing lessons that focus on teamwork, leadership and cooperation. Not only did I think that taking the time to do this was important for the children, I could use the hours invested in these lessons as time toward my internship. Now at the end of the week, I am glad I took the time to do it.
Third Grade B is doing outstanding. They really listen to each other and value one another's opinions. In honesty, I thought of the two third grade groups they would struggle more. This was because there were more students in that group that were not in FOCUS at the beginning of the year and there were no natural leaders. It turns out that has been a blessing and really strengthened their morale as a group. We have done so well this week I bought them a treat and movie to celebrate today. And to just show how wonderful they are, two of my little girls just bought enough Capri Suns and fruit rollups at the Relay for Life stand in school so that all twelve of their classmates can have juice and an extra treat. How generous! They continue to amaze me everyday.
Third Grade A is struggling. I love a lot of the children in the group enough that I would take them home with me and raise them as my own. However, there are some STRONG personalities in the group and that has really come out this week. Some people have short tempers and some just like to hear themselves talk. They have a long way to go before they can be considered cooperative. We are phasing in group work with groups of three working on skits right now and going to groups of four next week. I have also talked to the children who are not part of the conflict alone and told them how I am relying on them to assist the others on being cooperative. We are not having a celebration in there. I am hopeful we will get to a point where we can next week.
First and Second grade is also doing very well. Each Second grader has a first grade buddy that they are responsible for picking up on their way to FOCUS. THey take such pride in no longer being the FOCUS babies and for being in charge of something. The first graders feel so proud that they are being placed in a class with second graders. It ends up being a win - win.
And speaking of changes.....we found out who our new principal is this morning. Her name is Daundria Phillips. She is currently an Assistant Principal at another Gwinnett County elementary school. She seems really sweet and very team work oriented. She scores a point with me for not being a coffee drinker. It will be hard to change after working for the same person for five years. However, I agree that with change comes positive.