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Showing posts from July, 2012

soLs: the element

Slice of Life Stories hosted by the  Two Writing Teachers I am one of a bazillion viewers around the world loving the Summer Olympics.  I thoroughly enjoy learning about the athletes and hearing their stories.  I can't even begin to count the number of times I've had goosebumps watching in amazement.  I am a believer in their hopes and dreams.  Even though they are in London as Olympians, they are still just like you and me in many ways.  We all have our moments of being in our element.   Yesterday, I read an article where  Sir Ken Robinson   shared his definition of the element:  "The element is finding that point where talent meets passion."   This is true in many facets from academics to technology to sports,   and al

#cyberPD: Opening Minds - Part 3

"I want my children and  their children in a class like this." Johnston (p. 82) The last three chapters of  Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives  by Peter H. Johnston (Stenhouse, 2012) were powerful, meaningful, and significant to the future of American education, especially in light of the tragic events in Colorado.  This is why we teach -- to reach our students on many different levels, going beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic.  It is essential that we integrate and dedicate lots of time and modeling to create thinkers, triers, questioners, wonderers, talkers, listeners, and then doers.   "Making meaning is good. Doing meaningful things is better" (p.124). My Thoughts and Reflections "I'm REALLY not good at this  yet ."  I am really stuck in this rut.  This "good job" rut.  Over and over this last week I caught myself saying it.  It was out of my mouth before I could even th

An Aha Tech Moment

I love those discoveries that just happen.  I wasn't planning it.  I wasn't searching for it.  It just happened.  So, here's what I discovered: I enjoy reading the Tuesday Slice of Life Stories hosted by Ruth and Stacey @ the Two Writing Teachers blog. However, I dislike the back and forth and uneasiness of reading a slice then trying feverishly to return back to the Two Writing Teachers blog to read more. Click. Click. Send. Click. Ugh! Click. Grrrr. This is especially difficult when trying to read many slices during the March Slice of Life challenge . But, guess what?  I've discovered the quick and easy way back! Maybe you already knew this.  Maybe you found another way.  But I know my mom and I talked about this frustration and so this post is really for her.  :) So, Mom.  Go to the Two Writing Teachers blog.  Select a slice to read and leave a thoughtful comment.  (Go ahead, I'll give you a minute or two.) Now, click on the left back arrow and

soLs: i'm reading

Slice of Life Stories hosted by the  Two Writing Teachers My girls and I visit the library about once a week.  It's always a whirlwind with two year olds, but worth all the effort. Our last visit proved that. We walked in with excitement and joy.  Squealing and screaming.  The librarian actually walked over and whispered, "We are so happy that you are excited to be here, but you need to use a quieter voice."  Too many words for my two year olds. After she walked away, I reminded them both, "No screaming." We walked around the rows and rows of bookshelves. We talked with other patrons. We played by the puppet area. We sat in the comfy chairs. We jumped on the stuffed lady bug. We watched a book come alive on the TV. We attempted ma

#cyberPD: Opening Minds - Part 2

"I didn't want to know everything that was already known;  I wanted to leave room for possibilities."  - Thoughts from Naomi, the main character  from Sharon Creech's new novel The Great Unexpected I'm so thankful to be participating with so many reflective teachers that push my thinking.  It's amazing all the bits and pieces and quotes that I missed during my first reading of the book  Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives  by Peter H. Johnston (Stenhouse, 2012). It's awesome to read what others highlighted or picked-up from the reading that continues to make my brain grow!  And if you noticed, I did say my first reading -- so this is my proclamation that I will be rereading this book over and over again. My Thoughts and Reflections I'm STILL going to take Johnston's words to heart:   "I'm not good at this  yet ."  There is SO much to think about in these three chapters.  My brain is currently

soLs: half-way

Slice of Life Stories hosted by the  Two Writing Teachers half-way through summer yet my to-do list is longer books to read stack is bigger projects to create is extensive but lots of time with girls playing, reading, swimming repeat, repeat, repeat and ready for garage sale squeezing in a PD read reading what I can however summer is only half-way through

soLs: a happy mom

Slice of Life Stories hosted by the  Two Writing Teachers Deep breath. Last week, I was struggling and feeling frustrated.  Feeling like I was doing it all wrong. Quiet time. I realize that we all have bad days, or even moments.  Two year olds are no exception. Count to ten. There were tears.  And a little writing .  And positive vibes and words of reassurance. A little time + a reminder that I'm not alone + some time to myself + seeing others enjoy and delight in my two little ones + watching the girls just play + staying up late to watch fireworks + returning back to a schedule + Daddy being home for a bonus five days = a happy mom And a happy mom is a happy home . . . for everyone. Than

#cyberPD: Opening Minds - Part 1

Pat Johnson wrote about sharing on her blog, Catching Readers Before They Fall . Teaching is also about sharing. I'm excited about sharing and learning with colleagues in my virtual teacher's lounge.  I'm glad to be sitting next to you -- sharing and joining in the #cyberPD learning again this summer.  I've had this summer's discussion book in my TBR pile since it was published earlier this year.  An opportunity to read a book and learn with others?  Priceless.  We will be discussing  Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives by Peter H. Johnston (Stenhouse, 2012).  I hope you join in the conversations! My Thoughts and Reflections I'm going to take Johnston's words to heart: "I'm not good at this yet ."  It's amazing what words can do - and how often do I slow down to think about the words I use?   I think I'm careful in what I say and how I say it, but little did I know the impact and power my words have on my student