Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Slice of Life: Reflection on 2015

This Friday is the last day of 2015 in our classroom. As I'm reflecting (OLW15) on the first four months of school. It's been a great start to the year with celebrations including last Friday's comment, "Mrs. Caplin, I've never understood long division. It's the best day of the year."  Another email from a sixth grade student thanking me for spending so much time helping him with his math and reading. As the school year closes, I am thankful for these celebrations.

  • All my students are reading their JR books that they choose. They know their teacher is a reader and will always be asking, "What are you reading?"
  • Newbery Club is meeting this Thursday, and I'm celebrating all 23 of them that go above and beyond and choose to be apart of our club early in the morning before school.  
  • Long division doesn't have to be long - it can be repeated addition and/or place value long 7.  What ever strategy works best for my students is the #1 choice.
  • We're reading Family Under the Bridge written in 1958 in Paris, France.  I read it every year and have enough copies for everyone to have their own. There is a magic when my students know that the book their holding might have been held by their brother or sister who is now in high school.  It's been a different type of read aloud this year with the recent events in Paris.  We've spent additional time having important conversations. I've used  Google images showing them photos of important historical places in Paris.  
  • Yesterday the The Ohio State Jazz combo visits our school every year.  The opportunity for our students to be exposed to different types of music as well as learn the story behind the music is very special. 
  • Thursday we will be doing 5th Grade Gives Back collecting toiletries, making snowflakes to deliver to the nursing home and after school several students and teachers will go the nursing home to sing and pass out the snowflakes.
  • Friday will be our holiday party, and I'm super excited this year.  The room mothers asked for every student to donate a gently used book they've already read, and we're playing a game with them.  All my students will be taking home a old/new book to read over the holidays.  Perfect for Room 234 :)
Finally I am thankful for my renewed energy in writing. Opening the computer and having something  to type.  Grabbing ideas from Sunday sermons and collecting interesting vocabulary from everywhere.  New and exciting words are jumping off the pages and my wordsmith brain is happy happy!!  I hope everyone has a blessed and relaxing Christmas. Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for encouraging me to Slice on Tuesdays.  My plans right now are to celebrate with our family the first week and find some writing time the second week. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Slice of Life: Eeyore Complex

I rolled out on the wrong side of the bed. It was one of those days when every email I received was a problem or created more work for me. I was about at my wits end and have to admit that I was very boisterous during lunch hour with my thoughts about the latest requests.  I continued to walk around like Eeyore and just had a grumpy look on my face.  After school, I meandered down to my friends classroom in which I found my other three companions and I just let loose.  They all listened, and a few of them had inquiries in support as well as questions.  I’m pretty sure it was a gripe session in the best of days.  However, knowing I have my friends in the trenches with me and I had a safe place to vent was so important to me. I am thankful to my colleagues who always listen when I’m ready to pounce. I am thankful to my daughter who I call everyday after school as we discuss our days as teachers.  I am thankful to my mom who always listens and seems to find a glimmer of light.  And my husband 30 years later still says, “I can just tell. What’s wrong?” Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for encouraging me to slice about life's adventures.  

Thanks to Google Images for sharing one of my favorite Pooh friends.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Slice of Life: Can't Find the Path (Yet)

Over Thanksgiving, I had several conversations with our adult children which left me in a quandary. There are so many tough questions being asked these days not only from our kids, but about life.  I think there lies the answer: I don't have to know all the answers as long as I continue to learn and have empathy as part of the process.

 I watched Ruth's video about her decade of One Little Words.   Her calming voice along with her explanations resonated in me. My OLW15: reflection has sent me on twists and turns I never saw coming this year. When I take a moment to reflect and realize the answer is not always there or more importantly the path can't be found (yet).  We're all on a journey to figure out the pieces (slices) of life. The conversations really made me realize that my journey at 52 is not any different than one at the age of 23 and 25.  I am thankful for that realization. Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for encouraging me to Slice. 

Summer reflection from a moment on our dock.