I'm exceptionally lucky to work with two amazing teachers during our two and a half hour language arts block. One is a reading coach at our school. Her job is designed for her to be in a classroom co-teaching for half the school day and coaching teachers the other half of the day. I get to be her partner this year. The other teacher is one of our special education teachers who used to be a first grade classroom teacher. I am learning a lot from them both.
Yesterday we cracked down on behavior during center time. We're raising our expectations of their stamina and focus. The students who were reading to a stuffed animal (really just more independent reading, but with a twist) were sitting in a tight little triangle together. I went over and had them each turn around so that their backs were to each other. One girl really didn't want to do it. She kept saying, "Now we won't have any fun."
I'm beginning to think that their switch from kindergarten to first grade might feel as shocking to them as my switch from fifth to first feels to me.