Saturday, October 31, 2015

Celebrate This Week

What a difference a week makes. While life is still crazy and over scheduled, I feel like we have made great strides in the classroom. Thanks for reminding us to take a moment each week and reflect, Ruth. Check out Ruth's blog for more weekly celebrations. 

Endings and Beginnings
We wrapped up our narrative unit in reading and writing and are moving on to NaNoWriMo and a Mock Caldecott unit for November. I was so proud of the students' writing. They were honest and wrote it all out for the world to see. I cannot wait to see their growth by May. 

Author in Residence

I'm blessed that my school along with my district and the PTO came together and funded a "author in residence" for the fifth grade this year. Author Marianne Malone visited our fifth graders twice this past week and will come once next week to teach the students writing lessons. I have all three classes in my room while she teaches. She gave them a great compliment yesterday that she couldn't believe there were sixty-eight kids in the room, they were focused and writing. It has been a wonderful experience. (Side note - if you haven't read her Sixty-Eight Rooms series, remedy immediately.) 

Sharing our Story
I've been preaching to my students of late - share your story. If you don't, who will? That's one of the reasons I began this blog - to share my story. I think educators need to take back the narrative of education in this country. The folks currently telling the story of teaching in America are painting it with the wrong strokes. I'm grateful to get to share mine here and, by chance, on two podcasts of late. 

One is with the new podcast Stories from School. I love this series already. The episode with my story isn't out yet, but it is shared at the end of a bonus episode of one of my favorite podcasts ever - The Yarn. You can listen HERE while I tell the story of the impact of my first grade teacher, Jan Tuck, had on my life. 

The other podcast is another favorite. Kevin Carlson has a podcast called Re: Teaching. Conversations with Educators. With Kevin I got to talk about one of my favorite topics of late - the importance of story in reading and writing.You can listen to that HERE

Looking Forward
I think reflection is critical, but when I'm stressed, it helps me also to think positively and look ahead to what is coming up that will bring me joy. When I look ahead, I see so much. I have a new student beginning Monday. I met he and his mom yesterday and he is wonderful. I cannot wait for him to join our classroom.

Luke starts basketball season with a bang - six games from Tuesday-Friday this week. Yowza. If I can get out early enough on Friday, there is a cool fundraiser our local education foundation is doing that I cannot wait to attend.

Liam will be joining a park district basketball team towards the end of November. He's excited to begin basketball as well. 

I have a presentation to give to interested folks in my district in a few weeks and then it's on to NCTE. I cannot wait to see friends in Minneapolis and get the chance to talk books, kids, and teaching. 

Life is good, my friends. Life is good.