Tuesday, November 22, 2016

{today} #sol16


The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join us for a month of writing!
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today:  i anticipate the long weekend ahead

today:  i could feel the excitement before a much-needed break
want to be:  snuggled up in bed reading a book without interruption
blessings:  my God, my family, my home, and my profession
thinking: i'm too tired to write with that feeling of no words to share
planning:  each of the next five days with family and friends and too much food
writing:  a little slice of life today
loving:  the peace and quiet right now
grateful:  for a loving family, a toasty-warm home ...

and today {again}: i anticipate the long weekend ahead
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This go-to easy-format quick-thinking in-the-moment writing idea is compliments to:

"It's a single print out of the busy cycle of life, a pause, a way to plan, 
and to remember to breathe in the midst of the everyday."
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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

{#PictureBookMonth} #sol16

Slice of Life is hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join in and share a slice of your life. 
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November arrived quickly, but we were ready.

My colleague, Karen, and I have celebrated Picture Book Month in our classrooms over the last few years.  However, this year we decided to share this special month with not just our small groups of students, but with everyone at our school.

We started thinking about the importance of reading aloud picture books:

  • Builds commUNITY (Thanks to JoEllen McCarthy for this!)
  • Develops empathy
  • Builds vocabulary
  • Allows for deeper thinking
  • Showcases new authors, titles, and series
  • Reminds us that books are mirror and windows


We introduced the premise of Picture Book Month with our staff at a meeting and that we wanted to share our love of picture books with their classrooms.  We agreed to read aloud every day in November to a classroom in our school. We set up a sign-up schedule using Sign Up Genius and started pulling books from our classroom libraries that correlated with the daily theme.


Karen and I arrive every day in a new classroom ready to share a different picture book.  It's fun reading aloud with a partner, but it definitely took a day or two to become comfortable with sharing the read aloud lead! We make a great read aloud team!





We ask students why they like picture books and jot down their thoughts on a sticky note.  We discuss that pictures books are good for any grade, and remind students we never get too old for picture books! After we read, we take a picture with each class, print it out, and post it on our bulletin board with their ideas about picture books.  A copy of the cover of the book we read aloud is posted on our calendar and the books are on display.  We send a quick tweet with the hashtag #PictureBookMonth to share our daily read aloud, and sometimes connect with the author or illustrator.





It's been an amazing month so far of sharing books, new titles, new authors, and our love of picture books.  The students are excited to see us and we have even been asked on several occasions when we would be coming back.

That's the best compliment of all.  

We are booked this month, but we will be back! Happy reading picture books this month and every month!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

{stealing time} #sol16

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

The month of October is busy as it is.  School is in full swing. After school activities. Homework and projects. Multiple birthday parties.  A week of Halloween activities and fun. Every day planned.

Then throw in the Chicago Cubs and playoff baseball.

Stealing time.

I learned the game with my Dad.  I sat with him watching the Cubs win some and lose most. I grew up playing softball. I know the game and some of the obscure rules. But this game takes patience.

Stealing time.

We are more of a fast-paced-Chicago-Blackhawks-hockey-loving family.  Baseball is, well, just not the same. Unless we are watching playoffs.  More exciting than the long 100-plus game season.

Stealing time.

And we haven't missed a game.  I dug out my Cubbie Blue shirts from the back of my closet. We are the October fans of baseball. The excitement. The hits. The home runs and Grand Slam. The amazing play after play after play.

The gift of winning. But, oh, is it stealing time.  And many, many late nights.

Tonight I watch and dream about stealing time with ... One. More. Game.

Let's go, Cubbies! Bring Chicago a World Series Win! #FlytheW
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