Starting Our Day the Room 119 Way: A Qualitative Study of an Elementary Classroom Community and its Alternative to Traditional Morning Work
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This study explores the experiences of multicultural, Title I second-grade students as they experience a daily "Soft Landing," the time and space set aside for the first thirty minutes each morning for students to make choices about what activities to engage in. The portraiture methodology as outlined by Lawrence-Lightfoot and Davis (1997) establishes the framework for this narrative inquiry. I address four questions: What is "Soft Landing;" How do students choose to use their "Soft Landing" time and how do these choices change over time; What does "Soft Landing" mean to students; What have I learned about myself as a teacher during "Soft Landing?" By observing and interviewing nine second-grade students over three months, I learn that when children are in charge of their own learning and thinking, they actually know how to structure their academic lives without waiting for someone else to do it for them.