Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Slice of Life: Summer Learning on a Quest

It's Tuesday and time to reflect on my Slice of Life.  It's the last day of May and it's time to reflect on my OLW: quest.  There are only five days of school left.  I will have completed my 28 year of teaching. With all of these wrapped into a little package, it's time to launch into my summer quest. 
This summer is going to be different for me.  It's not all going to be all about professional learning. I am anxious to be on a quest for reflection time.  I enjoy taking the time for thinking about what went well during the school year although I don't spend a lot of time on that to be honest. Last summer everything centered around math workshop. What did the standards mean? How can workshop become a standard and not an isolation? I focused on these concepts throughout the year and I am pleased at the shifts I made in math. I am typically thinking about the glitches during the school year or looking back in my notebook to read some comments that I have left for myself so I don't forget what I need to focus on.  This summer I want to focus on 
  • talk in my classroom - What does it look like? Sound like? Most importantly how can I not be in charge of talk?  How do I shift ownership of talk?
  • inquiry:  How can I build more inquiry into every subject?  I've always had a sense of wonder in my classroom; however, I am thinking more deeply about how can questioning be an integral part of all subject areas? 
I'm excited to slice, reflect and celebrate the last day of the month.  I appreciate all the Slicers and their comments.  The blogging community is an integral part of my learning, and I'm excited to continue this summer.  

Friday, May 13, 2016

Celebration: Creating Lifetime Memories

Only 15 days of school are left and as the year comes to an end, I am celebrating the moments that my students might remember.  It's not the moments that were on my lesson plans most of the time.  Or the "must do" check off list that all of us are faced with in the classroom.  Finally this year the life memories are the ones that I stepped back and allowed my class to lead me.  I will be completing year 28, and I have never pushed the pause button as much as I have this year. Pause on on  interrupting conversations to add my thoughts. Pause on what I believe book clubs should look like the last weeks of school.  Pause on creating the rubric for the three types of government.  Pause on our lemonade stand.  

Completing a busy two days, they were exhausted, but a great kind of exhaustion.

  • reading the book to the preschool units
  • answering questions from the kindergarten
  • serving over 500 students
  • counting numerous coins into $20 piles
  • cleaning up the floor after spills 
  • most students gave up recess for their shift
  • wearing yellow shirts so as a class we would stand out (thanks to my husband for a last minute shopping trip to purchase mine)
  • setting up and tearing down our stand 
We raised $700 in two days and although they were overjoyed with the total most of them relished in the learning experience.  Thanks to Ruth for encouraging us to celebrate.  I appreciate all the support of friends and colleagues it was an amazing learning celebration for all of us.