by Lily Burgess, 1st and 2nd Grade Teacher
Twice a week my team of 1-2 teachers gathers for official meetings. Twice a week we formally discuss how previous curriculum is going, where we want to go next and what academic strands we are weaving into meaningful learning. I should tell you, though; we don’t call ourselves the 1-2s often… we loving refer to ourselves as the FUN-2s. “Hey Fun-2s, where are we meeting today?” we ask as we carry binders and laptops through the hallway. It sets the tone. We want to infuse fun into each learning opportunity and we want to have fun doing it.
As the team gathers we are all abuzz with highlights from our classrooms: stretches that encouraged kids to think big, mistakes that were celebrated as we learned from them, cool collaborations between unexpected partners, and where we are headed next. With tons of ideas we tether ourselves to theme and begin collaborative brainstorming. At times, in efforts to design the most FUN, we can find ourselves in circular conversations, dissecting each option, advocating for and against each idea and slowly determining our path. We have been known to pull out markers and scribe ideas on the tabletops or leave charts on whiteboards. When kids see these relics of past meetings they often wonder aloud, “What is that?” It is just part of the chaos of collaboration: sometimes confusing, sometimes organized, and all the time engaging. But by the end, when we have settled on a topic, a spark ignites and the magic starts to spread from classroom to classroom. Between doorways and down the hall, we poke our heads in to see just how our fellow classrooms are leaning into the work we imagined and honed together. Many meetings and conversations later, it really is quite fun to watch the year uniquely unfold as our kiddos take risk, build relationships, and lean into the magic of learning in the FUN-2s.