Saturday, December 17, 2016

Celebrating: Change in Plans

My plans have been changed this morning.  I was heading out for a fun morning of relaxation and then finish my holiday shopping. We woke to an ice storm with beautiful crystal trees and a driveway that reminds me of an ice rink. Our pond would be glistening if there was a hint of sun; however in Ohio a hint of sun is rarely seen these days.

I celebrate it's Saturday and now my plans have shifted.  What a blessing that with icy conditions cam on a Saturday when not as many people are on the roads.  Plans can be changed to this afternoon when it is suppose to warm up.  I celebrate being flexible with my day and realizing that staying home gives me a chance to post probably my last celebration blog post of 2016.

I am so thankful for my celebration community.  Throughout the school year, when I was lost, needed an extra supportive comment along with a chance to celebrate the learners in my classroom, I knew I had my colleagues to turn to every Saturday.  I hope everyone has a blessed holiday season, time to rejuvenate and most of all time to write and read an amazing book.

compliments of Twitter

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Slice of Life: OLW final thoughts on my quest

Last Saturday, I wrote a celebration post about choosing to find JOY in little moments of everyday.  "As I was thinking about this post, I was wavering from a Slice of Life and celebration.  Slicing helps me think about the whole picture which isn't always easy, and celebrations help me look inside the whole picture to find the joy."  This thought received several comments, and I have been reflecting about the contrast between celebrating and slicking. Slicing is a much more difficult post for me to write.  Thinking deeply is not a choice that I always want to make, and a slice requires difficult reflection and often I'm hesitant to publish it.

Is it possible to fight with your OLW word? I would say my OLW (quest) and I had several battles throughout 2016.. I was constantly asking why is this my word? I was uncomfortable with my word.  In August when I invited 27 learners into their classroom, I realized quickly that this school year was going to be unique. There have been several challenges that I have encouraged my learners through this year. To be honest I started to list the challenges, and I decided that their quests is their story to share. I deleted those statements. We’ve been on a quest for almost four months, and the path has been crooked with road bumps along the way; however, I celebrate all their learning as we continue to grow on our quest to become better and stronger learners as well as stronger citizens within our classroom and outside in the community. 

2016 is creeping to a close. Christmas vacation is right around the corner reminding me that there is a chance to take a break and rejuvenateI always anticipate the time with our children as we continue to build more holiday memories in Charleston, South Carolina. I hope everyone has a special holiday season with their family. As the years roll on, I realize the true gift of the season is time spent with my family and a chance to breathe deeply. Thank you for slicing along with me. 


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Choosing to Find Joy in Celebration

I choose to find a celebration everyday and when I begin my day with this decision I have a better day.  As I was thinking about this post, I was wavering from a Slice of Life and celebration.  Slicing helps me think about the whole picture which isn't always easy, and celebrations help me look inside the whole picture to find the joy.  I have been choosing to find the joy. 

  • A hesitant student finally found a book that he loved and said, "Thank you."
  • Parent emails that ask how they can help their child and thank me for supporting their child through difficult times.
  • FRACTIONS: common denominators, mixed numbers, adding, subtracting (OH MY) after a week using every trick up my sleeve, several students finally smiled during math class.
  • Hugs, hugs, and more hugs from students.
  • A student had a meltdown in our classroom on the floor sobbing, she told me that she had waited all year to be "board cleaner" please don't let other students help her. She wants to do it all by herself.  Problem solved :)
  • Bus duty:  I had the best conversations with my friend as we keep all the students safe. 
  • Bus duty: our principal is always on afternoon duty with us.
  • Message about test scores from my principal,"We're all in this together." 
  • One of my favorite days of the year when I give each student a copy of our December read aloud wrapped with a sticker from me.  Their smiles tell the story. And as my friend, Bill says, "Just read a great book for fun!" That is what we will be doing everyday before lunch.  Thank you Andrew Clements for The Last Holiday Concert.
  • I celebrate Ruth's video's about her writing journey about grading.  Her video tugged on my heartstrings. And once again I am reflecting on my practices. 
I am so thankful for the reminder to celebrate. I choose to celebrate and find joy.  I appreciate the supportive community on Saturday who take the time to comment.  Here's to the first Saturday in December - finding joy in celebrations.