What went well?
One of the big things that worked well was communication between students. We allowed them since the beginning to speak with their peers and to learn from each other. The first day we had some students work together and make a home that was their own, but connected. They loved the idea of being next door to their best friend. Even though they created this home together, each of their works came out completely individual and unique.
We let one of our students tell his story to the class about his home and it included some characters. Shortly after, students were so impressed and inspired by this student that they decided to make their own versions of that character and include it in their home (or some just gave it to the original maker of the character). That created a lesson in narrative by learning from their peers. It was a great tool for us teachers, where we were able to add this into our lesson so that the students can think deeper about their work and to create a narrative of their home and share it with their peers.
Another thing that was executed well was defining terms. We had a lot of new terms for the students and explanations of things. Many visuals and interactive activities were used with the students. We would ask throughout the classes about those terms and how they were using them, and then make sure that we reintroduce them the next class as a refresher from the week before. There was nearly zero issues as far as remembering process and terms because of this.
Our increased knowledge of classroom management as the days went on were very helpful as well. We had a great call and response of the Spongebob Squarepants theme song that would be their cue to pay attention to the teacher who is about to speak and give directions. Another thing was a group redirect that was necessary a couple of times where we'd stop the class, focus up front, and a teacher would ask the students what it looks like to be respectful. And then what it means to be respectful when someone is talking, do they feel respected when someone talks over them, etc. It seemed to work each time we used it, and only had to use it once a class each time this issue occurred.
What went not-so-well?
The big one that comes to mind is the recurring issues with specific students. It was always behavioral as far as not getting work done or not doing work in class, or just walking around and talking to others, not being productive. Granted, these all got easier as the weeks progressed, but there were a couple students who had a hard time remembering what it was we were supposed to be doing or how to be acting in class.
That being said, directions should be more clear. This could be achieved with a simple addition of signs and a schedule listed either in the front or at each table. Just something to keep them on task and not have any surprises as to what they should be doing and when.
Finally would be communication with the classroom teacher. Multiple times throughout our time, the students switched seating assignments, making it difficult for us to know how they are going to behave. Mostly it was no issue, but the students mentioned above who had repetitive habits of distraction sometimes lead their tables to do the same. So if this were to be the situation again, to ask the homeroom teacher to let us know so we can either create our own seating arrangements, or to allot time to instruct the students how we should be behaving in the classroom again.