Saturday, September 29, 2012

Time and Tenderness

As a grade level we believe it is important that students be independent.  Really isn't that one of the tenants of teacher?  We want our students to work effectively at a rate so that they are prepared to keep up with the stamina of the next grade.

This week one of my students reminded that with expectation of independence we also expect proficiency.  Students work at different rates.  This is a fact.  I sat the young person down to explain that the speed at which we finish tasks doesn't mean that the work is 100%.  We need to do our best on our work, not complete work at an exponential rate.

The look on the young person's face was priceless.  The anxiety lifted and work resumed.  Teachers, I implore you to remember the practices we use in the classroom may need accommodations in the classroom. Don't expect all the students to be the same because as luck would have it we are all uniquely different and gifted in our own areas.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Very Thought of You

Today is a day that many of us will never forget. We know exactly where we were eleven years ago when we heard the news of the Twin Towers being attacked.

I was a young teacher headed to environmental camp with 300 sixth graders. It would be two days before I saw the first pictures or heard the broadcasts of what happened.

Now, eleven years later and a few months after a trip to NYC. My heart grieves as all Americans do, however, I know that New Yorkers are devoted to their city. Filled with pride, as well they should be...because this Oklahoman fell in love with the sights and culture and color that decorates the streets.

My heart is with all of you tonight as you spend tonight remembering. I know you always remember that horrific day, but you didn't allow it to take hold of you...Beautiful NYC. You survived a moment that many cities could not which is probably why so many people love NYC. She burns with such passion that she ignites it from the deepest depths of our souls. We have no choice but to heed her impulse. Her desire. Her survival.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reader's Workshop

Establishing routines within your reading workshop is just as important. My reading time is divided between specials/lunch.  I teach my mini-lesson within my chapter book and do guided practice with the chapter book and then I allow the students time to practice independently when they return from lunch.  This saves me time and gives the students purpose during their independent reading time.

Our current focus is visualization.  Not just drawing the picture, but also writing in a few sentences what they are seeing as we are reading.  We are reading Charlotte's Web.  Today's was about the warm manure pile...lots of great pics!! However, we are still working on getting the details in our writing and sketches. 

Read, read, read!

Write, Write, Write

As we are building routine it is really important that your students understand they are to write, write, write.

We have discussed

1.  What is a small moment?
2. Writers think before they write
This led to brainstorming people, places, and heart topics

Tomorrow I am going to talk about how sometimes we come in with a story we must get down.  My story is about what happened to me on Labor Day.  I have my writing pieces written for the week, but I am revamping for the teachable moment at hand.  Let's face it...we all have stories we MUST tell. Mine involves blood, stitches, and a trip to urgent care so I am sure it will spur several other stories.

Happy Writing!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Family Time

Those of us in the Midwest have already started school and I know those in the East are starting soon. Today was a fun day of family time.  The last few weeks in my classroom have been focusing on routines and beginning assessments.  I've fallen in love with the new 22 faces in my room.  It didn't take long. So enjoy your restful day!!  Have a great work week and don't forget to document your life! Write!!