Personal logos, When can I start reading your books? and Week 1 is over! | Mentoring in the Middle

Personal logos, When can I start reading your books? and Week 1 is over!

Maybe it's because I'm 173 years old and I just forget.  Oh. My. Word.  The first week of school is SO exhausting!  

So I'm linking up with DoodlebugsTeaching to tell you how it went.

I tried something new this year with my students.  I liked the idea, but I wasn't sure if they'd get the whole concept.  Boy, was I wrong.  They LOVED it!  We looked a some corporate logos, starting with the Nike swoosh. I asked them what company it represented, and they all knew right away.  But when I asked them why Nike used that symbol, they really had to think.  I was impressed with the answers they came up with:  that the swoosh implied fast movement, that it looked like the oval of a track, even that it looked a little like the bottom of a shoe.  We spent some time looking at other ones:  AT&T, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and Amazon, among others.  More kids joined in with ideas and they really seemed to get excited about it.  Then I told them they would create a personal log, based on the things that were important to them.  
Those kids worked so quietly you could have heard a pin drop.  It was really cool to see how invested they were in the project.

They put three crepe paper streams at the bottom, purple and gold for our school colors, and red because we're the Red Team.  Here are some of them hanging up in my room.  This project is in my TpT store if you're interested.
Few things make me happier than seeing my new students' faces when they see how many books they'll get the chance to read in my room.  It was hard telling them they wouldn't be able to check any out on the first day because we had so many other things going on, I wouldn't have time to go over my rules about how to check them out.

By Day 2, they were begging, even though I'd planned to hold off for another day.  But I gave in, went over the rules and how I have my books organized, talked about 25-30 different books, and then gave them time to look.  Here's a group of girls getting comfy.
Our school always goes over school rules in a series of ten rotations, spread across two days.  So that took up a lot of our mornings on Days 2 and 3.  This year, my partners and I talked about the Dress Code.  It was really interesting to see the difference between fifth and sixth graders. We decided we needed to be totally honest, so we told the kids we'd be using words like "bra" and "underwear".  The boys got smiles on their faces, but they were pretty cool about it.  Although they laughed when I said that girls needed to remember that they'd be working on the floor on some days, and if they were laying down on their bellies, reading a book, and three boys were sitting opposite them, not reading, it was probably because they could see down their shirts all the way to the belly buttons!  

But the fifth graders?  Oh my, no.  I really had to choose my words much more carefully.  They just are so much more innocent, and less inclined to try to stretch the Dress Code rules.  It was really something, how differently our presentation went with kids only one grade younger.
All in all, it was a fun week, getting to know my homeroom students, and meeting the other two classes on our team. They seem like a great group of kids, full of energy and eager to share their stories.  I'm looking forward to working with them this year!
Even though summer has ended for me, it hasn't ended everywhere.  This is about the millionth  tenth 
batch of green beans I've picked so far.  I know I'll appreciate it when winter comes!

I hope you have a nice, long weekend, filled with family and friends!  For those of you starting after Labor Day, have a great time!  The hardest part is the "not knowing."  Once you meet your kids, youll be good to go.


  1. I'm glad you had a good week. I love the logo idea. Thank you for sharing it.

    Have a great weekend!


  2. What a great idea to have the kids make a logo. I will have to check that out in your store.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
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  3. I love the personal logos! And I, too, found it interesting to consider how a discussion about dress code would be very different with 5th graders vs 6th graders!
    Crafting Connections

    1. It was really something. Those fifth graders walked in, and suddenly, everything I'd been saying to sixth graders seemed too grown-up for them. We all found ourselves toning down what we were saying.

  4. Some days I feel like I'm 173 years old too! Like today....and my students haven't even started yet!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  5. Oh my gosh! I laughed so hard at your opening statement. I said nearly the same thing to my niece earlier in the week. I am soooo jealous of your green beans; they look WONDERFUL. We had such rain early in the growing season that most of our crops got washed away... no beans, no peas, no zucchini, no squash for us this year... sigh! My mouth is watering at your photo.

    1. It's humbling, isn't it, how nature really is in charge and we have to deal with the consequences? It makes me appreciate how great we have it, compared to folks years ago who didn't eat if it rained their crops out.

  6. I do a project very similar to your logo activity when I introduce symbolism. My students are always amazed to see how prevalent these symbols are in our society, but I never considered asking them why they think those are the logos that were chosen. Duh! Great extension!

    1. I have to admit I was surprised. It only took a couple of guesses before they got what I was asking them. I was worried that they wouldn't get it - sixth graders can be pretty literal - but they really did. I was thrilled!