Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Click the link to summer slices on my family blog.

Planning Time

One month of summer left and I am getting excited to see the new faces that will arrive in my classroom in August!! I've begun to plan what the beginning of the school year will look like. My team partner and I have designed and finished our back to school night packet and presentation. So I can check that off the list of to do's.

Today I met with my co-teacher. We began a program three years that has had outstanding results. As we begin to look at the new faces and personalities we will see and what our peer learning reader's workshop will look like we became excited and our little conversation turned into a 2 1/2 hour brainstorming session.

Our district implemented The Comprehension Toolkit two years ago. Last year there was a marked difference in what my students knew that was different from years past. I am not sure where exactly to start. I love to hit the ground running with Andrew Clements' Frindle, but I want to make sure that the needs of my learners are met. What should I review and what should I elaborate on when the arrive in my room? For some students literacy workshop will not be new, but for others they will feel as if they are on another planet. It is an exciting time and I am trying to develop an inventory for the kids. I know what I want to hear from them. What is your experience as a reader? As a writer? What does the phrase making connections mean to you? What do you as a reader if you lose your way in a book?

I think for me July/August can be summed in one word. EXCITEMENT!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer Reading

Before I begin reading for stretching myself as a teacher I indulge in an intense read-a-thon of fiction. Right now one of my favorites is Jodi Picoult's newest novel House Rules. This book is marvelous! I am always very skeptical when I hear about a novelist whose character has special needs because it never fails how they always use the cliches and it really irritates me. THIS BOOK IS NOT LIKE THAT!! The author did wonderful research. Her description of children and adults with disabilities was respectful and on target. It is great writing that makes me wish the words in my own writer's notebook could one day be read by others. But most of all it is a book that raises awareness done respectfully for families whose lives have been changed by autism. Thank you Ms. Picoult!!