Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Slice of Life - Small Moments

Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Two Writing Teachers

I’m a big believer in finding the small moments and celebrating those. This might explain why I’m a fan of Ruth’s Saturday morning celebration link up. When I’m feeling stressed, I look for small moments of happiness and my stress and anxiety seem to melt away. 

Today I taught a lesson on close reading. Exciting, right? It actually was. Chris Lehman and Kate Roberts have a great new book out, Falling in Love with Close Reading. I’ve read half and really like it. They do a close reading activity with Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” to teach students what close reading is.

During reading class I introduced the concept, gave some examples, and then played a bit of Katy Perry’s “Firework” for the students. We stopped, discussed what we thought the song was about. Then I played it again while the students followed along with the lyrics on a sheet of paper, marking the lines that they thought fit the message Perry was trying to communicate with us.

With each of my three classes about half way through the song I would hear it – soft voices would start singing, gaining strength as we went. By the time this happened in the second and third class, I just felt my body relax and I had to smile. These wonderful voices would mix with Perry’s as they belted out a message about being ok with who you are.

Often teaching is hard. There is so much to do each day, so many fires to put out, so many questions that race through my head. On days like today I have to just take a moment and relax. To enjoy hearing my students sing as they look at me and grin. To enjoy their sweet eleven year old voices. These are the moments I cherish.