Saturday, January 14, 2017

Celebrate: Discovery and Conversations

Dropping in and listening carefully during reading workshop.  Choosing to be quiet and listen to the conversations around 8 vocabulary words: tobacco, pry, destination, conductor, quilt, beckoned, lineage, and station.  There were three directions: find a friend, discuss how the words are connected and make a prediction about what the play will be about.  Finally write your thinking down in your reading spiral.

I am celebrating allowing students the opportunity to think around 8 vocabulary words. Half of the words were unfamiliar to them, and I celebrate them working with a peer to discover the definition and confirming with a dictionary. Reteaching the importance of guide words and also choosing which definition works best for the similarities was a celebration. As students grouped the words, several comments were made about their predictions.

·      I think the setting will be a long time ago because of the word (quilt)
·      I think the plot will be about a family traveling (destination, conductor, conductor)
·      I think the characters will be a part of a big family (lineage)
·      I wonder if someone will work on a plantation and grow (tobacco) and call their brother to help them (beckoned)

Have you guessed the play? Henry's Freedom Box was our mentor text for the week.  I celebrate allowing students the opportunity to discover and make connections with an important story. Thanks to Ruth for encouraging us to celebrate throughout the week.  I'm excited to read other celebrations from the week. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Celebrate: Slowing Down First Three Days of January

Learners of Room 234 came back on Wednesday. We spent almost the entire day in conversations. I decided this year after sharing their favorite memory that we were going to discuss gratitude. I chose to open the conversation with a favorite picture book, Thank You, Mr. Falker. . I believe it is important to teach young learners about being thankful. I purchased thank you cards from Target, so students could have a chance to write a quick note. Most students wrote their parents, some wrote their grandparents and a few wrote a coach.  I celebrate not jumping right into curriculum the first three days back in 2017. I am thankful for my students who spent some time reflecting on their holiday vacation and writing about gratitude.

 I have been struggling with writing lately.  I know that my Saturday Celebrations are important to me in two different ways. First of all the community of writers and the comments that we leave each other encourage me. Second I live differently knowing that I will be posting a celebration on Saturday as I constantly search for that special celebration moment.  Welcome to my first celebration of 2017.

Monday, January 2, 2017

#OLW2017 Still On My Quest

I have thought and thought about what my new One Little Word would be for 2017. I am not sure if I am breaking the rules, but I have decided to keep my same OLW from 2016. I feel like I have more lessons to learn from quest, and I am still on a journey searching for answers both personally and professionally. 

Personally, I've been lost with my writing. Often feeling like I had nothing new to say, or if I would share what I was thinking would it be too negative? I've written several pieces in my head, placed a few in my writer's notebook, but then made the decision not to post. I often wonder if I am running away or choosing to keep my thoughts to myself because it is more comfortable. There seems to be a fine line right now for me. I often lean towards the statement, "If you don't have anything nice (positive) to say, then don't say anything at all."  But then I know that choosing be a writer is hard work and putting the pen to paper is often the most difficult part for me. 2017's quest will help me to continue to define what my writing life will look like. 

Professionally, I am still on a quest to understand my 26 learners sharing Room 234 with me. Several of my students need me for organizational skills as well as helping them remember to make positive behavior choices. Several students need to build their confidence when choosing books and helping them maintain stamina. My small group of mathematicians still need to have
support with counters for basic facts, manipulative for place value, and a constant smile of encouragement. I am anxious to return to school Wednesday and continue my quest with these learners in 2017.