Saturday, January 4, 2014

Celebrate This Week 1/4/14

I’m joining up with Ruth Ayres for her weekly link-up, Celebrate This Week. Check out all of the posts linked up at her blog HERE. Thanks for starting this, Ruth!

This week my celebration is a bit different that my usual photos - more of a realization. Yesterday, teachers returned to school in my district for a workday, students come back Monday. I was working on report cards in my room and another teacher came in. We were talking about what we had accomplished in the first semester of the school year and I made an offhand comment that I felt like I hadn’t taught enough.

What I meant was that so many of my lessons had a character focus. I have been working so hard to help these kiddos become who they are meant to be, learn to be kind to others, and learn to be kind to themselves. It is exhausting, but rewarding work. And while character has been a huge focus for me, I do know I have taught, but I had to think about it.

We’ve learned about genre preferences, authors we celebrate, and how we can write about our reading.

We’ve learned comprehension strategies, annotating texts, and comparing across paired texts (or text and videos).

We’ve talked about Being Brave, Choosing Kind, and the Power of Books.

We’ve blogged, tweeted, created QR codes, used Audioboo for book reviews, and Skyped with teachers, classrooms, and authors.

We’ve finished our Mock Caldecott unit, read books in our Mock Newbery unit, met for breakfast, read state book award winners, and more.

And even all of that isn’t the way I am measuring our year. I look at comments, emails, texts like the one from Nino’s mom telling me she found him in the storeroom of their restaurant reading.

The email from Caroline’s mom where she relayed a conversation she had with Caroline. She had asked to go to the bookstore. Caroline’s mom commented with surprise. Caroline said, “I don’t know how she does it, Mrs. S just messes with your brain.” J

The message I had late last night. One of my reading students was in a car accident this past week. Sofie will be having surgery today to set her jaw. (If you are a person inclined to pray, please say one for her.) I woke up this morning to a Google doc from Delaney, Sofie’s good friend and a kiddo in my homeroom. She had written about Sofie and wanted to share it with me. I love that she did that. We’ve talked in writing class about how writing can heal. When we’re sad, mad, scared, or whatever – we write. It can make us feel better. Delaney did that, and I am so proud of her for it.

So today I am reminded that we’ve actually done a lot in our first half of the school year. Even better than thinking through what we’ve accomplished is the realization that the kids have actually internalized the lessons from class. Today, they are what I am celebrating.