Tuesday, October 25, 2016

{kids can teach us} #sol16

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I'm thrilled to say that I am finally in a routine of meeting with my small groups of students (a.k.a intervention groups).  It feels so good to be spending time with students face-to-face who are just as excited to see me!

These kids amaze me every day when they get the opportunity to move to a smaller learning space where we are surrounded by books and not distracted by anything else.  It's just us and books and time to connect and read.

We are creating our small group learning community, where we value each other as readers, writers, and thinkers.  We talked about our purpose for working together.  We talked about our goals and dreams. We talked about our challenges. Yet, we know we can do it. No excuses.

We discussed that readers, writers, and thinkers need tools and resources to continue to grow.

Readers need books. Lots and lots of books. And a variety of books.
Writers need notebooks. And pencils, crayons, markers, pens. Maybe even a laptop.
Thinkers need their brain that continually grows as it is exercised and challenged.

We talked in depth about our purpose for reading.  We are not just reading the words on the page to finish. We are reading to understand, to ask questions, to think deeply about the characters, to think about what we learned, or how our thinking has changed, to think critically about the decisions the author and illustrator made. Reading is thinking. Reading is challenging work!

As my group of third grade students and I were discussing ... This happened.

Words started flowing from their mouths, my ears were tickled.

"Wait! Let me write that down!" I interrupted as I grabbed my pencil and bright orange sticky notes.

The words started again, and together they crafted a beautiful quote about readers and books and thinkers. I quickly scribbled, smiling in delight.

"This is amazing.  I'll be making a poster for us to remember your words," I announced as all three of my students beamed with pride.

Today, I will share the poster with them, giving them a copy to save.  They will also see THEIR quote on the glitter board, where I share reading and writing quotes.  This is the first time -- but not the last -- that students will be quoted on the glitter board because every day I'm reminded that kids can teach us too.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

{back writing} #sol16

Slice of Life is hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join in and share a slice of your life. 

I have all the excuses in the world ...

Back to school. New schedules. After school sports. Homework.
Out of practice. Not in a rhythm. Brain is full. Just too tired.
No time. No time. No time.

But I know you won't accept those excuses.  And I shouldn't either ...

I need to rethink my time.  It's about balancing.  Creating time.
Making time. Taking time. Getting back into the rhythm.
Feeling the need to practice. Allowing my brain freedom.

So that's it.

I need to give myself the space to write.
I need to remind myself that my words have power.
I have a story to tell. My story. To share with you.

All the excuses in the world
can't keep me from writing this little slice of mine
to stay connected with you.

I'm back writing. And it's starting to feel like home again.