Sunday, May 17, 2015

Social Time!

Hello There!

It's crunch time!! I have 13 days of school to go and a list sooooo long I wonder how it will get done?!!

A few weeks back I posted on Instagram and Facebook  a picture of my sweet kids during our morning "Social Time." 

Reading Together Partner Plays

This guy was patient while his buddies outlined his body!

I love that these girls are playing with "Matchbox" cars! 


I'm not sure if your school is like mine but my kids "filter in" to the classroom in the morning as they arrive. They are allowed to be dropped off by bus or carpool up to 30 minutes before school starts each morning. 

This is much different than what happened when I taught in California. In every school I worked at previously, students met at the playground and "socialized" before the bell rang and they lined up to walk to the classroom and start their day. 

So when I started teaching in North Carolina, I was stumped. I asked so many teachers, "What do you have your kids do before school starts?" Most of them responded some variation of morning work. So I tried it. 

Every morning  I put our some Printing Practice morning work for my students to work on as they "filtered in." 
Printing Practice Morning Work 
 And EVERY MORNING I said, "Get to work, stop talking, if you are finished do a quiet activity, find a book to read"....blah blah blah. #FRUSTRATION

Then it hit me! As adults we need time to socialize before the start of our day, meetings, bible study etc. We never get right to work! 

So I started "Social Time" in my classroom. I pretty much let them do whatever they'd like to do. Students play, talk, write, and read together. I just have one rule of safety. 

I LOVE listening in on their conversations.
I LOVE seeing their collaboration efforts. 

I LOVE that they are happier and having the time to share the things that are most important with their peers. 

I also LOVE that I don't have to spend my morning redirecting behaviors so we have a good start to the day. #WINNING

Now when social time is over, my kids get right to work until the morning announcements are over and we start our morning meeting together! 

Thanks for reading....I'd love for you to leave a comment below...How do you start your day? Do you have any ideas I could add to my social time?


  1. This is a great idea -- you are so right!!! I miss our social time together every morning!!!
    And I am so so so thankful that my kids meet me on the blacktop!! Ha!

  2. The little boy whose body has been outlined like a crime scene? LOL! That's so cute. I love seeing how your children spend their social time in the mornings. And you're so right about how that's just like adults... I NEVER get straight to work. In fact, the day could not possibly begin without my social time at the teacher mailboxes and a quick trip upstairs to talk to my teaching-BFF. I always think that when I'm in school cafeterias that want children to be quiet while they're in there. I never go to a restaurant with friends and say nothing while we're there... talking is what we do and that's why restaurants are noisy. I love how respect and consideration are so evident in your room.

  3. I love the blocks surrounding the little guy! I want to be in your class Christina! Enjoy these last few days with your little ones. xo
    Teaching and Much Moore

  4. Love social time! A friend of mine just moved to NC last year and was stumped too!

    Moore to Learn

  5. I agree 100% with Social Time. I cannot walk right into the classroom and begin teaching - and therefore I don't expect my students to do so either. There are definitely behavior expectations - but once they have completed the tasks they need to do to start the day (lunch choices, backpacks away, etc) they have some time to socialize.

  6. This is amazing to see! I do the same thing for my students daily (whether grade 1 or 2 - even grade 3). We call ours Exploration. I start off with just a few activities so they learn expectations and then we quickly move to free exploration...which means if they see it in the room, they can ask if they can use it...and the answer is usually yes! Students may be building, using whiteboards, creating with art materials, working with clay or playdough, using found materials (rocks, shells, etc), working with math manipulatives, reading, building puzzles, etc. We've had paper airplanes flying through the room and cars being launched into a bucket. It's generally a loud and energetic time...BUT it's pure magic. Tons of oral language, social skills, problem solving and creativity. My role is to ask questions, listen in, challenge their thinking or pose a question on different ways and to join in if I feel it's the right thing in the moment. Each year looks and sounds different. And it's a practice that I will not change or give up.

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