Sunday, January 31, 2016

January OLW Thoughts about my Quest

I have always tried to reflect on my OLW at the end of the month. I lost that idea last year, but I want to try it again.  I felt like it helped me focus on my OLW throughout the month.  As January comes to a close and to be honest I am ready to put this month behind me. I am thankful for my quest as well as the  lessons I learned from January.  

How does each scene support the structure of the play?

In class, I went on a quest to understand RL5.5 Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem. Let's be honest this standard is not new, I attempted it last year.  It's like unwrapping a gift but it turned into a  white elephant.  I wasn't quite sure what the standard meant, but I gave it my best shot.  Year 2, I am celebrating  digging deeper and continued searching for the true meaning of the white elephant. After all there is a little beauty in even the most difficult standard.  I am thankful to our literacy coach and team for helping me on this quest.  As we devoured "Ethics of Pigs" by O'Henry, we all felt much smarter and totally understood the structure of a drama.  We all earned a gold star for that learning. 
January in Ohio is always unpredictable with the weather.  Our weather has been seasonably mild, and we haven't had much snow.  We sidetracked the huge blizzard that just rolled through.  My quest for home this past month was slowing down in the evening and turning off school.  Typically I would do my homework for the evening and then continue reading, tweeting, and writing about being a teacher.  I decided I was going to try this month to turn off school earlier or better yet not have to do school every night. I assume this might sound a little crazy for a teacher to turn off school, but I needed to adjust, and I'm thankful I did.  I learned that being "on" all the time was not working for me.  I am thankful that my quest lead to a path that is more balanced.  I'm anxious to continue into February...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Celebrating Family and Friends

This past week was not easy. I am reminded that it's important to live each day to the fullest and look for celebrations. When times are tough, I try to remember that everyone has those moments, hours and even days.  My celebration is that I was never alone, and I was reminded of the importance of celebrating my family.  I believe God gives me moments to stop and to slow down. Life can be so busy, and I often get all caught up in the craziness.  

I'm celebrating friends and family that were there for me this week. Cards were mailed to our home and left in my mailbox at school. I was blessed to have family from Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina and Washington DC come in for the funeral. Our house was full with love and support for everyone. Their hugs and conversations were exactly what I needed. I'm celebrating my family and friends who once again were there to pick up the pieces.  

I enjoy reading Saturday celebrations because I learn so many life lessons. As I read Ruth's posts, I am always in awe of how she handles difficult situations.  I always find a lesson, celebration or a chance to grow as I read her posts. I try to live my life with those three points in difficult times. Here is a quote from her recent post "We've gotta share our stories with a real, live, genuine audience. Because what I know for sure is when we take our stories out, with our hearts pounding and our palms sweaty, we become alive and the world becomes better. We understand one another in new ways and we gain grace. Story will only change the world if we share them."  I am thankful for Celebration Saturday, and I appreciate learning from everyone.  Happy Saturday my friends.  Find a moment to celebrate family and friends. I know I will.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Three Celebrations

I'm celebrating slowing down and marvelous books. Thanks Ruth for organizing our celebrations I enjoy spending Saturday mornings reading the wide variety of them. We completed our first week back and it was nice to slow down and ease in.

CELEBRATION #1  We spent time talking about our holiday break. I always encourage my students to share one favorite event and as usual it led to two, three, four and five favorites. The intriguing thing is that as I listened I learned about vacations, family, fears and new little puppies. 

CELEBRATION #2  My students were sharing about their reading over holiday break. Several students shared amazing book talks and several Newbery Club members read 2-3 books.  Announcing Bailey's winner A Night Divided  by Jennifer Nielsen. Won't that be a huge celebration if it wins on Monday morning? 

Our winner for Newbery Club
CELEBRATION #3   I chose not to start a new chapter read aloud this week.  You know that HUGE pile of picture books that you love and purchased but haven't had the chance to share YET. Well this week that's exactly what I did I shared my favorite new picture books.  If you haven't read them I would encourage you to check these out of the library. 
Did you slow down or read a great book?  It was a wonderful first week back.  

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Celebrating my OLW for 2016

It's that time of year again, ironic how's it's only January 2. Time to ponder and choose my One Little Word. This year choosing my OLW snuck up on me, and I've spent the last few days in a complete quandary.  I really wanted to recycle one of my past OLW because every time I chose my word it attached to me like another arm. But this year, only 36 hours of it, my word hadn't jumped into my lap. YET

I've been reflecting (a past OLW) about how my word leads my thinking, helps me to slow down, and most of all centers me for the new year.  After several circular conversations with my husband, I knew I wanted a verb and a unique word. I found my OLW or should I say it found me.

It's perfect for me in all the ways I need it to be. 
  • what's better than a word that is unique and starts with "qu"
  • it's a verb - reminds me to be on the look out for and continue to search
  • I'm on a quest to continue to weave in my past OLW 
  • a constant quest to strengthen my skills as a an educator and blogger
  • continue the quest of finding and recording explicit yet engaging vocabulary
  • a quest for a balance of prayers, petitions and praise
So now I'm 27 hours into the new year and I'm on my quest. Thanks to Ruth for supporting OLW and Celebrations.  Welcome in 2016!