Saturday, April 21, 2018

Celebrating NOT Testing

Ahh state testing, anyone reading this blog understands what happens to the classroom environment during four weeks of testing.  2 math, 2 reading, 2 science and 2 MAP.  I am not celebrating that!  We had a state wide shut down on Wednesday with our state testing. All tests cancelled in the state of Ohio for the day. I had planned on two hours to complete the math test,  so what did we do when that happens?  Of course, more time to read, share books, play word games especially hangman and celebrate no testing.  10 years ago, probably 5 years ago, I would have jumped right back into instruction.  Not any more.  I'm celebrating hangman with my students and of course a little word study thinking integrated with my word choices.

Coming together with their snacks and sharing our class read aloud, Flying Solo.  This is a perfect time of the year as my fifth graders transition next year to a sixth grade building. I LOVE this story and most of all I LOVE the life lessons.  Conversations around the characters and their decisions and choices are powerful.  As we were reading Wednesday, EV noticed that that storyteller's name: Klof Selat meant folk tales?  These are the moments that learners will remember forever.  I am so thankful for the opportunity for my readers to connect with authors through twitter.  Thank you for celebrating this week with me.  

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Celebrating: A NEW Path

Have you ever been lost as a writer, and then realized you weren't lost?  I haven't been lost. I am on a different course.  A new direction that I am choosing.  Choice is such a huge part of writing.  Audience is another huge piece of writing for me.  Who is my audience?  Am I writing for an audience?  Am I writing just for me?  All of these thoughts that have been ping ponging around in my brain this winter.

When I do feel the need to write for an audience larger than myself, I always choose my Saturday celebration family.  I've written before about "taking" and not "returning."  I have been taking a lot this winter by reading all of the Saturday celebrations and not returning by writing my own post.  Here is the link up for this week.  I am thrilled to be joining in with such supportive friends. 


My celebrations this week are from colleagues, friends and principals.  Those who don't know that I have been on an alternative route lately.  I am extremely thankful when someone takes the time to leave a kind note, inspirational email, tweet some kind words, leave a comment on my blog from a post written months ago or leaves a voicemail for my principal about a professional development that I lead this week.   

It doesn't take a lot of energy to be kind.  After all, we all know to Choose Kind  But the best part of kind is when you're not expecting it.  Those kind moments woven together reinforce that I am on the right track.  I am thankful for opportunities to quietly lead fellow teachers and volunteer in helping students who are struggling. It's strange when the current path leads me in a new directions, but I know the journey is perfect for me.