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Building Community in First Grade at Forestdale

by Julie Crosby, 1st grade teacher – Forestdale School

As a way to build community, the Forestdale First Grade decided to take the 10 classrooms and buddy up an A team class with a B team class. Each student was given a buddy to get to know from another class.

The week of November 23rd First Grade classrooms got together with their buddy class to read the story, The Dot, by Peter Reynolds. The Dot is a beautiful story about a girl named Vashti who is encouraged by her teacher to take a risk.  Vashti does not believe she can draw.  She is filled with self-doubt until her teacher gently persuades her to, “just make a mark and see where it takes you.” This inspirational story shows how one reluctant learner gains self-esteem with just one dot. Even though Vashti was still just drawing something as simple as a dot, she learns to find joy and fulfillment through the process of creating and experimenting.

Classrooms discussed how everyone can do many things but something’s we CAN’T do YET! We related this to all the things we learn in first grade…Reading, writing, math, tying shoes etc… On Wednesday the 25th First Graders went to the multi-purpose room and learned the song that goes with the story. After each partner got together to make a dot and sign their name. Together the first grade is making its mark at the Forestdale School!