Saturday, April 30, 2016
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
|Compliments of Google Images|
Shifting the conversations has to start with me. The definition of conversation is "information interchange of thoughts, information, etc. by spoken words; oral communication between persons." I like the word interchange - I am drawn to the interchange on highways. Several cars going slow, too fast and just right. Similar to learning in my classroom. It helps me when I am making a shift in my teaching to have a visual. Charlie's Brown's teacher has been at the forefront of my thinking for several weeks. I am ready to shift gears to the analogy of the interchange.
I feel like I have adjusted to the differentiation of learners by using the cheat sheets that I mentioned last week. I have questions/statements for all my learners. Where I haven't transitioned is the need for teacher approval. I know I always give verbal reinforcements; however, I never considered the message I was sending.
- The teacher is correct when she says or writes, "Good job."
- Some (most) students wait for that approval.
- What message am I sending when students wait for my approval?
- I am going to continue thinking about the the language of conversations in my classroom. Any thoughts?
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
|Some of my new question from the article|
Saturday, April 9, 2016
- What does it mean to STAND UP for something?
- What does it mean to SIT IN for something?
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
This past Saturday I had the chance to spend the day with The Educator Collaborative Gathering. This is an unique learning experience because I was able to choose from a menu of presentations. The power of of the Google Hangouts and You Tube videos made this multi-dimensional learning experience. All the sessions were archived so when I couldn't decide between two or three of them I can refer back to the link above and continue learning.
Opening Session with Sara Ahmed and Harvey Daniels
- it's important to lean into the learning (I'm working on this by not going into conferences with preconceived ideas or questions. Allowing the students to guide the conference.)
- diversity is different for everyone (this was huge for me - I know my experiences impact my teaching but thinking about how each student comes into my classroom everyday with a different perspective is crucial.)
- students come to school curious (although the graph they showed scared me to death that by fifth grades students' curiosity drops considerably)
- if the work that students are doing in my classroom involves curiosity and inquiry then I don't need grit because the grit is built in (I don't get hung up on grit, but I am thinking about inquiry in all my lessons more than I have in the past)
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Monday was my first day back from Spring Break. My husband and I took a seven day cruise. Even with being empty nesters our lives are filled with jobs and daily projects which in the spring on the farm are adding up quickly. The biggest decision would be which deck chair to choose in the "Serenity" over 21 area which was in the front of the ship. I always wanted the front row (that's the teacher in me) so we could look out over the tranquil blueness of the ocean. I have to admit I'm a people watcher and enjoy conversations especially on a cruise. The first piece of advice from our Cruise Director Adam was to say, "Hello" because everyone has time to talk. The stories we listened to the past week were touching, funny, and a little out of my comfort zone.
Life is so different when I allow myself the chance to slow down and say,"Hello." We met a 73 year old gentleman who was born in France and lived there most of his life. Moved to Canada to get duel citizenship and while on vacation in Amber Cove, Dominican Republic he decided at age 48 that he was going to move there because of the blue skies, water and of course the warmer temperature. He opened his own business which is a tourist company that has zip lines and helicopter rides. He's brilliant and still flies his own plane and helicopter. In addition, he also owns thoroughbred race horses. Sitting on the bench, visiting with him was a quest. A chance to remember the importance of saying, "Hello" and sharing a story. I appreciate the kindness of his voice, and I am thankful to be reminded every quest continues to lead me to my story.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
TE (text evidence) WC (word choice) and S (structure).
As I thought about this slide and Word Choice (WC) I like how it is circular. Many times in word work I believe, myself included, we see skills in isolation. I always want to connect word work with writing for that implementation piece; however do I build enough time in for that practice? Probably not if I am honest with myself. I encourage the transition from word study to writing but I struggle because I don't want to force it. "You must use 8 words today from word work in your writer's notebook." because that is not writers do. Writers collect words, learn words and apply them. I'm pretty sure most of my students aren't transferring their words, and now I'm reflecting on that transfer - the authentic piece of connection.
There is a small group of teachers reading Choice Words by Peter Johnston. I've read this book several times, but each time I read it I learn something new or think differently. Perhaps all of this word work thinking will all fall neatly into place soon or maybe not? Next week is Spring Break and time to recharge. I'll be back posting in two weeks. Happy Spring Break friends and as always thanks for reading.