I'm halfway through my first year in first grade. I've said before that it was surprisingly challenging to adjust to the move from fifth grade to first. A lot of it is getting better. The credit for that goes, in great part, to the literacy coach and the special education teacher that I work with. They have been willing to problem solve with me and have been great models for me to watch.
There are so many things that are beginning to feel comfortable. I'm getting the hang of making the content accessible for first graders. I'm beginning to understand how they are learning and how I can help that process. The biggest problem I'm still facing in classroom management. It's painful. For the five or six years prior to this one, classroom management required little thought or effort. It felt natural and I had a huge bag of tricks ready for when things got a little more challenging.
Now, I feel like my responses are all wrong. I'm unable to anticipate quickly enough and head off problems. I haven't figured out how to redirect students in order to help them refocus. And, worst of all, I spend way too much time yelling - not helpful. This is my big goal for 2009. I expected classroom management to be a challenge, but I underestimated how big a challenge.
I'm open to any suggestions of good books, websites, and other resources to help me mull this over.