Tuesday, May 8, 2012

slow it down

Slice of Life Stories hosted

Rarely do I ever just slow it down to celebrate.  I'm a quick celebrator:  "Yeah--but, what about . . .???"   I'm always thinking ahead:  How can I improve?  What can I do differently?  How am I going to reach this student?  How am I going to push that student?  And because we are in crunch time now (a month of school left!), it was refreshing to hear these bits of conversations happening in my classroom:

I started the day asking a group of first graders: Why are WE here?  Everyone replied, "To learn."  Then K. added, "And to fill our brains with words."  This led us to an awesome discussion about how smart this idea was because filling our brains with words helps us when we are talking, reading and writing!

Two second grade boys were having a conversation about oral reading fluency: "It's not about how many words you get, it's about how you read them," L. told K.  K paused and then replied, "It's a little about both."  I agreed with both and added it's a lot about understanding those words!

Five out of my nine fourth and fifth graders participated and completed a month of writing in March.  The same five continued writing for the month of April and now into May. Woo-hoo!  A few of their reflections on writing every day:

Writing every day was just easy because you write a slice of what was your day.  My thought for writing was when you are finished writing, you realize you had wrote a lot.  And I think I am feeling like a writer.

It is fun to write every day because you get to reflect about something that happened.  Yes, I think I'm a writer because I am expressing my writing skills.

Writing every day was easy because I am smart.  I am a writer because I wrote for 2 months.

Even though I work with developing readers and writers, I have high expectations.  They prove to me every day how smart they are!

Thank you, kiddos, for these reminders to 
slow it down
 listen and 
our daily learning!


  1. Kids help us to remember so many important things! Our job is to listen to them . . . great piece and great reminder!

  2. This is awesome, Michelle! A great reminder also. I, too, tend to move on quickly, always thinking about what we could have done better. We have to remember to celebrate the little moments--although your 4th and 5th graders have LOTS to celebrate

  3. That feeling of being a writer is one I can relate to quite easily. Your students are writers in part because their teacher is a writer! I'm embarrassed it took me so long to understand that I needed to write authentically myself before I could help my kids be writers too. Thank you for encouraging all of us with your high expectations!

  4. I celebrate with you and your students.
    Thank you for a reminder to celebrate with my students.

  5. It is a great thing when you feel like you have truly reflected with your students and they got it! Great job pushing your expectations while supporting them on their journey.

  6. Wow, what awesome little writers you are growing! Writing every day and feeling like writers is certainly something that deserves a big celebration! Good luck to you and them as you finish out this year of learning!

  7. Celebrating each day is what we all need to do. With reminders like this, we can celebrate and encourage (and be encouraged). I celebrate your gift to me, to your girls and to your students!

    Love ya M

  8. Celebrations-yes! One of the teachers at one of my buildings does a daily celebration right after lunch-so positive and so uplifting-cut down on the junk brought in from recess-kids can't wait to celebrate! Wow Michelle, this is awesome-thanks for sharing your ideas on what we should all do more of! woo-hoo!

  9. Like you, I'm a "quick celebrator." Thanks for reminding me to stop and really enjoy all of the growth they have made this year!

  10. Hi Michelle. I love that talk about words from those young students. And I love your question, "why are we here?" It's good to slow down, take the time to reflect, & somehow in the race for time, we don't do enough of it. Good for you! And thanks for sharing the WORDS from your students.

  11. Hi Michelle,

    I'd love to talk to you about writing something for IRA. Could you please email me at your earliest convenience? I can be reached at ldeloza (at) reading (dot) org.


  12. And I think I am feeling like a writer.

    I love that your students are changing their perceptions of themselves through your classes.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.