Tuesday, October 30, 2012

sols: thoughts today

Slice of Life Stories hosted

Today, another slice of life day,
thoughts are floating in my head:

Girls. Growing. 2 1/2. Too fast.
Mom. Visit.  Helping hands. Extra love.
Overnight. Getaway. Renewed. Fresh.
Time. Up. Leaving. Today.

School. To do. Never. Ending.
Thinking about. Interventions. Choice.
Reading love. For haters.
Balance. Deep breath. One day. At a time.

Life. Quickly. Into perspective.
Sandy. Storm. Water. Terrifying.
Outages. Flooding. Wild winds. Damage.
Prayers. Thoughts. Safety. Calm.

Today, as Sandy hovers and wreaks havoc,
thoughts are swimming in my head.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

sols: just a day

Slice of Life Stories hosted

just a day

ever have that feeling
when you just
want a break --
from everything?

a mental health
i'm tired,
just oh-so-tired.

between home
and school
between little ones
and bigger ones

oh, and cleaning and
groceries and
laundry and
-- and -- and --

but to think of a day
to wake up
with no to-dos
and no place to go

nothing but me-time.
to breath and smile --
and miss everything
about my crazy, busy life.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

soLs: becoming a reader

Slice of Life Stories hosted

As long as I can remember, I've always been a reader.

My mom shares a story of the day she spotted me at about five years old reading aloud to a small group of children in Sunday school.  I regularly go through phases of can't-put-a-book-down to quick magazine reads to blogs and emails to professional reading and then back to my nose in a book.  I'm always reading something.

I am hoping to instill this love of reading with my two girls.

We have lots (and lots) of books in the house.  
Books upstairs and books downstairs. 
Books in a basket on the dining room floor. 
Books stacked on the counter in the bathroom.  
Books in the playroom on the floor and on the shelf.  
Library books, magazines, favorite 'read-it-again' books.  
Board books, real books, books with a CD.
Big books, little books and books-in-between.
Books of nursery rhymes, books of no rhymes.
Books of opposites and books of counting.
Books of pure-make-me-laugh silliness.

Did I mention we have lots and lots of books?

It started early on before the girls were born.  I collected books.  My awesome colleagues decorated the tables at my baby shower with books.  Grandmas and Grandpas sharing books old and new and even tractor and farm equipment magazines.  And I can't stop adding to our library.  "It's a gift."

A gift in so many ways.

There are many times the girls will pick up a book and start reading.  Books at the dinner table can be commonly seen.  At the end of a long day, I'll suggest we snuggle and read a book.  At bedtime, they will usually ask for just one more.  How can I resist?  Dadda usually gives us a look . . .

'Last one,' I mouth back to him.

We have read many books over and over and over again.  I love when P. points at the words as I read and M. talks about the pictures.  They amaze me with their language at two and a half.  And the 'reading.'  They are reading the pictures, saying the words, telling a story.  Sometimes retelling and sometimes making it up.

It doesn't matter.

To me, it's just simply amazing what books can inspire.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

sols: time away

Slice of Life Stories hosted



Drag, drag.

Press snooze.

Ah, snuggle in.

y  A  W  n.

S  t   r  e  t  c   h  ----

Rub, rub.

Blink.  Blink.  Blink.

It's Tuesday.  Oh, it's Tuesday!

After a long weekend getaway 
to the middle of Wisconsin, 
completely disconnected from 
the fast-paced-real-world,
it's difficult to get readjusted.

And it was worth it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

soLs: assessment

Slice of Life Stories hosted

We have been in school now for a month, and I just started meeting with small groups last week.  I'm sure you are wondering what took so long, but our literacy resource team has been busy!

Trust me, it's hard not starting the year meeting with students.  Can I tell you a little secret?  Some days I'd rather be meeting with students than with teachers!

Instead, from day one, the literacy team has . . .
  • Administered the district "quick and dirty" universal screener for almost 500 students
  • Scored assessments and entered data into the data system
  • Encouraged and shared resources for classroom teachers to utilize the time to create a reading community and confer with readers
  • Dug deeper to validate data to determine specific interventions mandated by law (RtI)
  • Administered Fountas and Pinnell Benchmarking for students not meeting target scores - easily 20 to 30 minutes per student
  • Discussed fidelity of scoring
  • Triangulated data and created a spreadsheet to organize it to easily digest
  • Planned and met with grade level teams to share data
  • Reviewed data and group students by needs and reading behaviors
  • Visited classrooms to talk about reading
  • Met with individual teachers regarding questions and concerns and document student interventions
  • Assisted teachers asking great questions regarding: Write Tools, guided reading, CAFE, Daily 5, Fountas and Pinnell 1st 20 days, Words Their Way
A month into school and we are now meeting with students. Yes, a month later.  But we have gained valuable information about our readers.  It takes time.  Lots of time.

I never want to doubt the time we dedicate to assessment, especially when it is assessment for learning.

And, finally, I'm doing what I love most -- meeting with my small groups.  Cultivating a classroom of learning around books.  Connecting readers to books.  Conversing about new titles.  Contributing old favorites.  Creating voracious readers and writers.