Thursday, April 4, 2013

Overlooking the Grand Canyon-Lessons Learned

Not often do I go off the beaten path on my blog, often I write my ideas and then I ponder....occasionally I push the "post" button and wait to see if there is any feedback in the comments or on twitter. Prior to vacation, the push was on...from everyone and everywhere, now after seeing the majestic views and reflecting on strong teaching I am right where I need to be and so are my students.

Here is my photo that I took and I personally like it better than my Google pic.

I am three weeks away from our state testing (reading, math and science) I am not feeling the pressure, and I am not going to put packet upon packet in front of my students to prepare them for the test.  I am going to continue to conference with my students about their JR books, continue investigating Literary Non-fiction as a review for genre studies, and they're  going to continue to write in their notebooks especially celebrating National Poetry Month. 

Where my students are as learners is where they are.  I will continue to model for my students how to think and write around the text while working towards the goal of a higher level of understanding.  My students will be ready for the state tests. And ask anyone who knows me I constantly say, "Until I know something better or a different way to instruct, I will continue to the best I can do."  After teaching 23 years, that best is pretty good.


  1. Your picture is breathtaking! I can only imagine what it was like to view that scene in person!

    Remember..In the foreword of Donalyn Miller's, The Book Whisperer, Jeff Anderson states...

    "Out of fear of failure or pressures from outside our classrooms, we let go of the very strategies and routines that could make our students succeed at reading, thinking, and writing."

    Stay with the community you have built in your classroom! It is hard to stay the course and to only view test taking as a genre...thank you for the honest post.

    Last year I came up with the following...

    I do not want to start only examining inauthentic reading. I do not want to confine thinking to a box. I do not want my students to think that the only audience for their writing is the test scorer. At the same time... I do believe that data is helpful from that one day in a child's life. I do believe in my students and want them to do well. I do believe that authentic reading experiences can prepare them, but I also believe that test prep should not drive the strategies I teach and the routines we have established.

    Reflective, intentional, responsive teaching will always lead to learning :)

  2. Tracy, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I love the opening quote and staying with my community is key for the next 3 weeks. Thank you for sharing your thoughts especially your 3 strong adjectives that describe a powerful teaching environment.

  3. Yes to your post, yes to your attitude, yes to your assessment of your own teaching (so glad to be your colleague and on the journey with you).