Rolling with the Punches
Some days it seems like everything is going exactly how you want. Everything works and everything goes right.
Other days, there are small hiccups that force you to adapt and change plans.
Today was one of those days.
It actually started with a request I made of our evening custodian yesterday. I noticed that my whiteboard was in desperate need of cleaning and asked if he could clean it off for me. He cheerfully agreed to do so, even though he knew it’d take a few extra minutes of his day. I came in this morning and was happy to see my whiteboard actually white for the first time in months.
I wrote the date, as usual, and then my morning message to the class, with directions for the students to write in their journals. This is going to be a daily writing activity, and so far it has gone well. (Yeah, I know, we’ve only been in school for three days, and I’ve only had them do journal writing for two of them, but hey, every day counts!)
Later in the morning we were getting ready for a new activity and I went to erase the morning message.
It didn’t erase.
I thought maybe it was my eraser, so I tried with my other erasers. All five of them. No such luck.
Apparently the whiteboard has been slowly dying and the process of actually cleaning it for the first time in months finished it off. My whiteboard no longer erases, and the cleaners that are made especially for removing dry-erase markers only result in creating a big grey smudge.
But that’s why we roll with the punches; adjust and move on. Which is what we did today. I wasn’t able to use the whiteboard for writing directions and reminders for what we were doing today, but the class did a great job following along without them. Don’t worry, though; I have a temporary whiteboard I will be able to use tomorrow and my principal is going to find out if I have a chalkboard behind my now-ruined whiteboard.
Even without a whiteboard, the students still were able to work on their classroom procedure posters, do independent silent reading, and do a pretest for math on operations and number sense. Tomorrow we will wrap up our focus on expectations and procedures and get started on some of the more traditional academics. Of course, we will always be working on expectations and procedures, but they will become a part of the background instead of the main focus of the day.