Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Slice of Life: OLW Perspective on the First Day Back

My OLW perspective sure sums up yesterday. Our first day after Spring Break. I wasn’t quite ready to be back; however, I knew the day was approaching as Sunday evening clicked by quickly and my 5:45 am wake up call was lurking. Facebook was exploding and it was even better than a twitter chat.  Thanks to Mary Lee asking her friends for suggestions on her last read aloud of the year.  It was like a roller coaster of ideas for me. Actually enough titles to last me until retirement.  I posted “What’s a girl suppose to do?” Of course, Mary Lee comments back, “Ask your students” Brilliant!! – fast forward to 10:15 Monday morning, not too many smiles on their faces.  I borrowed the idea from Tony Keefer, and we started our Room 234 Book Challenge for the Final Read Aloud. Picture NCAA bracket made up of 24 well loved and favorite chapter titles. Each student will defend their favorite book with a short synopsis (I taught them that word) they were super excited about writing a synopsis. The winner will be announced Friday.  We will begin reading our last read aloud of the year next Monday.

We played Fact and Fiction while sharing about their Spring Break.  I’m not sure how you feel,, and I love to honor Spring Break stories, but sometimes they turn into a long drawn out story.  The students loved playing the game as they walked around reading everyone’s statements and voted on which was their peer's one fact.  It was a perfect way to celebrate at the same time everyone had a voice.

Perspective has been an interesting choice for my OLW.  At times, it helps me to remember to stay focused on what’s important for my students not all of the “junk” that comes along with teaching. Other times, perspective is a celebration like today!  Not jumping right into focused lesson plans, taking a pulse from my class.  It’s been an interesting journey, and I’m intrigued to see where my OLW leads me into Spring. 

Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for encouraging us to Slice especially in March. Thanks to everyone who has committed to the 30 Daly Slice challenge. I have learned so much and enjoy reading the Slices.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Slice of Life: Tackling the Hard Stuff

Tackling the hard stuff is not easy. Tackling subjects that cause controversy is sometimes easier to walk away from than choosing to discuss it.  When we read the article in Scholastic News “Showdown in Selma” I wasn’t expecting what happened in our classroom. Room 234 didn’t have any background knowledge of this historic event. As we read the article, questions resounded inquiring why?  My students wanted to understand but didn’t have any information to help them understand what had happened 50 years ago. 

I’m so happy that I didn’t realize the path we would be traveling down that day because I walked the journey along with them. Other plans were pushed aside, and we spent the day discussing Ruby Bridges and Rosa Parks. We read several articles and making connections and most of all building background knowledge about the importance of these historic events. For read aloud: Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down a book that I have read every year, but this year it became integral in our learning community. 

As I think about the lessons learned that never made my plan book and most importantly the life lessons that I never saw coming, I am thankful for my students allowing me the opportunity to help them learn about Selma. Thanks to The Two Writing Teachers who encourage our slicing community to continue writing especially in March.  Here is the link up for this week.