Thursday, March 26, 2015

Slice of Life - Tech difficulties

Tonight I just sat down to slice and the lights went out.  No power, slice by flashlight and using my phone.  It's ironic in a way because early as I was packing I decided I might not fit it in and maybe that was ok.  However, I've sliced every day so I need to keep going was the self talk in my mind.  Today had some personal bumps and maybe the power going out is a sign to shut down for the day.  I will take this sign and ponder it while I finish up a few more things that go along with my packing list.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Slice of Life - going through books like...

"Last summer, I was going through books like chocolate!"  

This is from Sinead a former student of mine and the highlight of the softball carpool drive home tonight.  Sinead is now a freshman in high school and isn't reading anything for fun and not required from school.  So sad, but my daughter listened to what she likes to read and has a book for her to take on the softball trip.   Of course, I told her she had to have a one book reading goal for break and I will be checking in on her.  Small goals are good.  It's my hope if she reads one book, she will remember reading is fun when you can choose what you want and/or get recommendations from friends.  I'm going to check in on Sinead this summer and hope she has a box of chocolates with her book.  Maybe that could be a present from me to her, an even better idea.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering and organizing this writing challenge.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Slice of Life - Back up the Bus for Word Study

My students have been cruising along with our word study learning this year until tonight.  I've decided to hit the brakes even though I already put the wheels in motion for Unit 12.  See I got a little confident and didn't take the time to look at our post assessments for Unit 11 before I hit the gas pedal and began Unit 12.  

Lucky for me, I'm paying attention to the traffic lights and seeing too many yellow and red stop lights.  While I see green in certain areas, we are able to identify multiple ways to record different sounds and learned how to spell trick words, words that are tricky to spell and may not follow a typical word pattern or rule.  We need to practice more to identify different types of syllables and choosing to use ee or ea when spelling new words.  Sometimes when the first user manual doesn't answer your questions you have to turn to another resource.  Lucky for me, Word Journeys by Gansky and Words Their Way by Bears are waiting for me upstairs.  

I do need to explain to parents tomorrow that I'm not proceeding with Unit 12 this week and reviewing/relearning concepts from Unit 11 this week.  They will need to hang on to their helpful tip sheet until after Spring Break.  I'm also glad I'm taking a step back because that is what is good for students.  It's not good to keep going forward and ignoring the traffic lights even if the company says I must drive a certain make and model.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering and organizing this writing challenge.

Math Monday - Be on the Lookout

Welcome and thank you for stopping by Math Monday, 
I hope you will consider joining the conversation.

I have never been a fan of cold cereal personally and certainly not a fan of one high in sugar or have cute characters as their logo.  However, Lucky Charms has made it to our house two years in a row now to celebrate St. Patricks's Day.  Sometimes you have to change your A game for the surprise element and the whole wheat pancake topped with applesauce gets set aside.  

The box is empty as of this morning, thank goodness but yesterday I discovered MATH on the back of the cereal box!  Lucky Guess is the best math idea they are sharing but the others are cute and numbers are involved so maybe it's a start to see math in fun ways within a child's day.  We  need to make math more visible, fun, and a daily topic in our homes.  

Math Monday will be on Spring Break next week.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Slice of Life - Big Project on Hold

I've been thinking about really launching some digital literacy work in my classroom.  I thought about doing it last week with standardized testing but didn't think I could juggle trying to finish up work in progress and getting into the computer lab several days in a row.  Then I thought about it launching it this week but realized this might not be the best idea I've had with spring break approaching.  We are going to be excited about this very important work and I'd love for them to using it over spring break.  This important and exciting work will require me to do more work behind the scenes.  

However, I'm going to be selfish and not launch our work this week because I've decided that spring break this year will be school free.  I'm not going to read a professional book.  I'm not going to read anything in children's literature.  I'm not going to work with apps or technology in any way related to school.  Ok, learning how to use some apps on personal topics might lead to something later in my classroom but my initial learning of these apps will be personal.  

I've made these decisions far in advance and I keep talking to myself about them because they are the opposite of what I do most breaks from school.  I'm really good about shutting down from school during the summer and being with the girls for a bit of time.  However, all other times of the year I am usually in full school mode and this year in general while working really hard at a new/returning to grade level I am trying to find balance and myself within a lot of school work.  I want to model to my girls that you can and should be able to walk away from school/work and still be true to yourself.  

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering and organizing this writing challenge.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Slice of Life - Incomplete Flickers

Today I returned to The Ohio State University and Ramseyer Hall for a meeting.  I found myself wanting to wander and explore.  I did for a few minutes after the meeting I was attending but had to dash out to get to a softball game.  

I found myself wanting to remember.  Remember the rooms I took classes in.  Remember the people my path crossed with.  Remember the familiarity of collegiate life.  I was married and beginning my teaching career when I got my masters so I would dash to campus for class and go home but I loved doing just that.  I loved learning more on how to be a teacher.  I loved learning more about reading, language and literacy learning.  I loved tutoring in the reading clinic.  

While I was there, I never had the opportunity to take a class from Gay Su Pinnell but I did meet Andrea McCarrier when interactive writing was still in the developing, action research, going public phases.  To this day, I love interactive writing.  

I hope to during my two weeks this summer on campus I can explore Ramseyer and Arps Hall a bit more and maybe recall a story or two from my time on campus 18 years ago.  Moments like this remind me I need to create a writing habit about daily life because stories get lost over time and then we are left with little incomplete flickers.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering and organizing this writing challenge.