Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Slice of Life: Staying Connected NOT on Vacation

There is something special about leaving right when school is out and starting summer vacation with a trip to the beach for sun, fun and relaxation.  We started this habit three years ago and this year we traveled to Destin, Florida. The white sands and beautiful  warm Gulf of Mexico was a perfect combination. I wrote several Slices sitting in my chair as I dug my toes into the sand and breathed in the view.

I seek peace and quiet.  My ocean view, book and an icy cold beverage is a perfect combination for me.  I am a quiet observer of others as I take a break from my book to walk the beach with my husband.  This summer I was saddened as I noticed a trend that I have been seeing with several families.The trend happens on the the beach and when we were out to eat. The lack of family conversations. More and more adults and their children were on their iPhones or iPads even watching movies while they were at the beach or eating dinner.  I am so thankful we raised our children during a time when being connected wasn't "the thing."  I wanted to give young children 4 crayons to color on the menu or play Tic Tac Toe with their father because that is what we use to do when we went out to eat. I wanted to walk over to a family of five all on their devices and say,  "This is precious time that you will never get back with your children. Talk to them before sports and school take over again."  It's saddens me how our world has become so connected that we are not even connecting with the ones we are sitting with on the beach or dinner. I am guilty of being on my phone and posting photos to facebook too. But I chose to leave my phone in the car when we were eating. I know it's a challenge for families to stay connected through conversations; however my dream would be vacations iPhones are off limits for moms, dads and children.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Celebrating: Summer and #cyberPD

Summer has arrived officially two days ago. Call me crazy but the first celebration is gearing up for summer learning which involves #cyberPD which is my favorite event of the summer.  Gathering together virtually through blogs and twitter is a perfect combination.  I have kept my professional reading pile small this year.  Seems like I never make it through all the books that I purchase. I am a hands on reader I like to write in my books, highlight, sticky note it, collect all the important vocabulary basically devour it.  Another celebration is once we start "talking" about the book then I go back and reread for a different point of view or better yet for points that I missed the first time I read the book.  I am excited for the announcement on June 3.  Hopefully the book is already in my TBR pile. 

I am excited to celebrating summer and  my virtual summer learning.  Thanks Ruth for encouraging me share my celebrations

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Celebrating: Last Week of School

We just completed our last full week of school. Celebrations were abundant this week as we started to close out our fifth grade year together. The highlight for me was taking down all the book covers from the books we read this year.  As one of the students took them down and matched them with the books, there was a constant buzz in the classroom.  Conversations including “I remember” “That was my favorite” “I heard that story before, but I loved hearing it again” 

Thanks H. for always helping me and making strong decisions. 
I celebrate books!  A core value of my teaching is that I will read with my students everyday.  Posting the covers on the wall for my readers to refer to all year helps create a culture of readers.  I believe picture books need to be read K-12. The power of picture books open windows for all students. Allowing every student to see themselves in the books I have read this year is another core value for me. 

I celebrate summer reading!  Starting next Friday, I will be sitting on our new screen porch and starting to explore my TBR pile.  Life is going to quiet down, and I’m ready for summer. Honestly I am more than ready for summer.  Plus there will be more time for blogging, reflecting and savoring my time with #virtualPLN.  Oh did I mention gardening, walking, traveling and spending time with my family.

Every Saturday morning, I always read something that helps me breath deeper and reminds me of the importance of having a virtual community of learners. Thank you Ruth for encouraging us to celebrate every week. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Celebrate: Clearning Up the Fuzziness

There is a calmness and a sense of "I’m not totally crazy" after I read blogs.  I do quite a bit of self-talk on my way home from school.  Having conversations and reflecting on my day.  What could I have done better? What went really well?  At the end of my 20-minute drive, most of the time I have processed my day. 

However, there are those days when I am twisted like a ball of yarn, self-talk doesn’t seem to help.I walk in the door at home befuddled. Conversations with my daughter, who is a teacher, and my husband sometimes lift me out of my confusion. 

But there are those situations that I can’t let go, and I am searching for calmness.  My celebration this week are my peers who write brilliant blogs that guide my thinking and help me clear up the fuzziness.  Blogging is a give and take; push and pull of learning and writing. 

I celebrate these posts that cleared up the fuzziness for me. 

·      Exploration Strategies for Informational Writing Two Writing Teachers
·      The Hard Work of Real Human Beings A Year of Reading
·      Slice of Life Tuesday: Testing, testing, testing A Teaching Life
·      Grace for Myself Ruth Ayres Writes

Every Saturday morning, I always read something that helps me breath deeper and remember gratitude is so important in everyday life. Thank you Ruth for encouraging us to celebrate every week. 


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Celebrating: Presence and Presents

It’s easy to get wound up like a ball of yarn during this time of year.  6 days of state testing, more district tests and knowing there are only 27 days of school left until summer.  One aspect that I love about getting older is perspective.   I clung onto my OLW (quest) and as each month passes I realize that my quest has been to dig deeply and continue to learn some of life’s grand lessons.

This week my celebration is about presence and presents.

Presence is defined “being in a place at a certain time” I am learning that presence is my learning target. Learners have several learning targets throughout a school day; however, I have one learning to be in a place at a certain time.   It’s been a week of learning for me. Challenges I have faced where I had to choose to step back and pause, go eat my lunch prior to having a conversation, and finally taking deep breaths when asked the same question 58 times.   I am thankful when I purposefully choose to be in the presence.

Presents are defined “something you give to somebody” My thinking about presents have changed with my age also.  I enjoy giving presents at the unexpected moments.  Finding something at special store and knowing that I have it in my drop drawer at home when I need it.  Leaving presents on someone’s desk without a card is my new favorite choice.  This concept started for me with Sandy Hook Elementary. I watched 60 Minutes this past Sunday, and it’s been four years, and I still wept as I listened to the parents.  This week I had a celebration in our school library.  A first grader brought her new book in and I was looking for books.  I paused and looked at the book which was almost as big as she was and I asked her about it.  She shared her favorite pages and facts.  Connecting over books is the best present of all.  Thanks to Ruth for encouraging us to celebrate every Saturday. 

I never knew until this post that both words are
next to each other in the dictionary. I believe they
are connected.