#celebratelu

Celebrating Wonderings

Celebrating Wonderings

Warning: this post is full of questions. No definitive answers, yet. Maybe never. This is an ongoing process. The answers change. The questions may stay the same. Either way, I’m on a constant search for improvement.



I’m currently wondering:

  • How to teach all that I know is important for the students I have this year. And, how to include my students in these decisions.
  • How to make sure I spend just the right amount of time conferring. 
  • How to listen more and talk less.
  • How to better honor student thinking. To understand without judging so all ideas are respected. 
  • Whether or not I’m making a difference in my students’ learning. How can I know for sure?
  • About the myriad ways that literacy and numeracy are connected, and can support and enrich each other.
  • How to be more patient with myself and my students. Less rushed. More in the moment.
  • How to be more efficient and effective with mini lessons. Conferring. Planning.
  • Why I’m still pondering these same issues year after year. 
Celebrating wonderings.


waiting

Waiting

Waiting is hard for me to do.

I’ve written about this before.
If not, I’ve thought about this before.
A lot.

I try to talk myself out of thinking about what I’m waiting for,
but I can’t.

I try to be reasonable.
I say things like, “Let go. Let the universe take care of things.”
But, I can’t.

I take lots of deep breaths.
In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.
But, I can’t.

I try not to check my email every 5 minutes,
but I can’t.

I try to do something else.
Anything else.
I read a book.
I watch a movie.

Then, I check my email.

Nothing.

And, the cycle starts all over again.

If I could truly let go of what I want,
then maybe it would come to me
when I’m ready to receive it.

Easier said than done.

Waiting is hard for me to do.

#SOL · weather

Electrical Storm

This afternoon there was an electrical storm.
Apparently, we’ll be experiencing these more often this month
at the same time that the bad weather starts to diminish.
Hopefully, May will be a better month, for the weather
and for changes I am hoping for.

Winter here has never been like this before.
In fact, we’ve never had an actual weather report before.
The weather here is generally constant in the winter.
Sunny skies, rain in the afternoon, sunny skies after that.
Temperatures hovering between 15 and 20 degrees
with a strong sun in the middle of the day.

But, this winter all we’ve had is
rain, rain, and more rain.
Cold temperatures that linger and linger and linger.

Fortunately, today I worked late as I waited for my son
who was practicing for the school play.
So, I didn’t experience the electrical storms
though I heard the noise but didn’t see the lightning,
if that makes sense.

My husband was at home
and that was a different story.

There was a power surge.
The lights went out.
And, so did the TV.

Our second-hand TV is dead.

I could be sad about that.
But, I’m not.
I’d rather read anyway.

My husband is definitely not happy.
No more soccer matches.
No more local news channels.
No more cooking shows.
Only Netflix on my computer
for now.

reflections · student led conferences

Reflections for Student Led Conferences

Today we spent most of the morning getting ready for student led conferences.

Rather than describe how hard students worked and how much they got done, which they did, I decided to let their words about reading and writing grace this post. What follows are a sprinkling of comments about their learning this year.

In response to the prompt, the most important things I have learned about being a writer this year are…students wrote the following:

  • To keep going on the topic and to hook the reader.
  • Using more details is better so the reader understands the writing better.
  • You have to research your topic before you write about it.
  • When you are going to write something you have to do a lot of drafts before you publish it.
  • If I read, I’m going to get better at writing

In response to the prompt, the most important things I have learned about being a reader this year are…students wrote the following:

  • To always notice what the main character does so you can predict what is going to happen or what the character will do. 
  • Read stories that seem GOOD to you, that you feel will hook you.
  • I need to read more to become a better writer.
  • Historical fiction books are fun and they give you a lot of information.
  • You need to try a book to like the genre.
  • To put sticky notes at the end of chapters, so I could write down what I think, then I could remember the book better.
I’m looking forward to the next two days as I observe my students engage in the process of reflecting, curating and selecting samples of work to share with parents. 
Sunday night

Sunday Night

Sunday night.
6:20 p.m.
Starting to get anxious,
antsy,
fidgety.

It’s a familiar feeling
as I head back to school tomorrow
after a week off for Spring Break.

Most of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
will be spent getting ready for student led conferences.

Thursday, the kids host their parents
to celebrate their learning.

Friday will be my only real teaching day.

There is so much I want to do with my students,
but I have to wait until Friday
and then the following week to try out some routines
and activities I’ve been spending this week reading about.

But, I’m sure (don’t want to check my calendar to confirm this)
that next week there will be other interruptions to our routines.

Ah, yes! I remember. (I checked my calendar.)
We have a consultant coming for a week,
though each grade level will take turns working with her.

The week after that is a four-day week.

The week after that…wait!
I can’t think that far ahead right now.

But, whatever the week after that holds for me and my students,
it will signal the one-month mark until the end of the school year.
THAT is mind boggling!
I feel like I just got started with this group of students.
We have finally found our groove, our rhythm
and soon, we will have to say goodbye for the year.

Some days, summer vacation looms too close for comfort
and, other days, it can’t come soon enough.
Which goes to prove that we are never satisfied with the moment.
So, I commit to enjoying these last 40 some odd days left of the school year
with my students.

Sunday night.
Take a deep breath.
6:33 p.m.
It’s all good.

#celebratelu · my birthday

My Birthday – A Celebration

Today is my birthday.
Another year.
Another milestone.
A promise of changes to come –
transformational changes.
I can feel it in my bones.

My husband threw me a surprise lunch party.    
He invited some friends.
Friends he knew would count.
Would matter to me.

The food was delicious.
There was a lot of it.
And, it was gone in a flash!

Then, my daughters called
to tell me about my birthday present.
Drum roll, please: they will be coming for a visit!!!
I am beside myself!

What else could I want or need?
I have
good friends,
good food,
great conversation,
laughter,
love,
anticipation of great things to come,
a surprise visit from my daughters,
health,
peace.

This is what I’m celebrating today.