One of the things that I find so daunting about summer school is the brevity of it. The schedule is great -- the kids are here for a little under 3 1/2 hours and then I (supposedly) have the rest of the afternoon and evening. (Now, getting myself out of the building to do other things is another story altogether...)
What I lament, though, is the difference between this and the start of a regular school year. In September, we start the school year together slowly. We follow the Responsive Classroom approach and build our routines together -- we make mental images, we talk about what things will look like, what they will sound like, then we practice. We build our expectations and our community together, so that by the six week mark, we have our routines well set and can continue to get into some of the other work of first grade.
In Summer School, though, we can't do that. We have three weeks. Fifteen days. Forty-five hours.
I find it an interesting mental challenge to figure out how to create some of the necessary routines together, to choose some of the non-negotiables about how the classroom will be run, and figure out how to build that together -- but make it quick and dirty.
I'm not quite sure I have it down pat -- in fact, I'm quite sure I don't -- but this class sure does get excited about coming into the classroom and having Morning Meeting first thing every day. ♥