Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Slice of Life - 10 Things Right Now

I saw this idea today in my feedly feed and in a moment of trying to use Pinterest more I created a board for writing ideas.  I'm sure I've mentioned before, I'm using Pinterest right now personally and for my class with both going slowly.  I love this idea from Ali Edwards and hope to find more ideas to help this board grow. 

Using Ali as a mentor, here is my list of 10 Things Right Now.

1.  I'm getting materials ready to individualize sight word rings and learning for my students.  This involves copying cards, laminating, cutting the cards out, hole punch top right corner and yes parent volunteers have been helping from home and in the the room.  Why so much work to make the cards?  So, they can be reused next year.  I need to assess my students on reading sight words and further plan the how we will do this.

2.  I love watching my K students think about letter sounds and write them down to help tell their stories.

3.  I love my new boot socks that scrunch at the top and could be pulled over my knee but I prefer the Ruth Ayers fashion style and scrunch them down a bit.  Finished off with a pair of boots, skirt, sweater, and I'm all set to go.

4.  Our public librarian Mr. George came to visit both classes to invite us to his library for a family storytime and an opportunity to sign up for library cards.  Mr. George has studied audience engagement and is a master at storytelling.  After spending time with him, I always want to read books with more inflection and feel happy because I've had so much fun.

5.  First quarter ended last week and we have started the second quarter.

6.  Articulating learning goals and targets is important but not sure how useful they are posted in my K classroom for student use.  Even in kid friendly language I'm positive just one student could read them right now.  I know this is beneficial for students who are older and attend school full time.  

7.  Working on creating pictures to go with learning targets/I can statements mentored after Smarter Charts ideas.

8.  Had a student ask for a box of books about pizza.  I've never had this request and I love how he understands our books our organized by collections with a common theme.  If you have any titles, let me know in the comment section.

9.  Wonderopolis is coming and I want to make their visit meaningful with pre-visit work.

10.  I can't wait to publish our self portraits tomorrow using Pixie during our computer lab time.  The students have learned so many features of Pixie since school started and have gained lots of confidence.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for hosting.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Slice of Life - Half Time

Half time isn't filled with a marching band and sports fans cheering on the sidelines.  Half time doesn't just happen on a Friday night or a Saturday.  Dressing for half time doesn't mean I'm wearing my scarlet and gray with my three favorite half time letters of the alphabet, OSU.  Half time is every day in my world.  Half time is the amount of time my students get to come to kindergarten.  It would be wonderful if my half time meant my students came half days every day of the week, but they don't.  As my editor for Choice Literacy coined my attendance schedule, my students come fifty percent.

Fifty percent can be seen as a positive when trying to reach a fundraiser goal and you are half way there. Fifty percent can be seen as a positive when I have been running for 15 minutes and I have another 15 minutes until I am done.  However, fifty percent also makes me think of half done.  That maybe I am not trying my best.  Maybe I am not working hard enough.  Maybe I need to teach more and faster and harder. I get to spend two or three days a week with my students.  They come two days and alternate a Wednesday in the middle of the week, it's not even fifty percent attendance within a week. 

Driving home the other day, I was talking to myself a bit. I was feeling a little bit worn down about fifty percent.  After making my list of what I can't fit in and why integrating the curriculum is hard and how technology with laptops twice a month isn't best practice, I stopped self talking.  I told myself if given fifty percent then it might be okay to teach fifty percent.  My curriculum is one hundred percent but if the legislators and decision makers don't recognize that then maybe I need to accept teaching fifty percent. There will be days everything doesn't get done.  There will be days we need to go slower.  There will be days where quality and relationships matter the most.  With fifty percent, they need to leave kindergarten liking and even loving school to want to come back for one hundred percent first grade.  I think I can do that, if I stay focused on my students.

Thank you Stacey and Team TWT for hosting Slice of Life weekly challenge.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Slice of Life - Story

I am missing lots of stories.  I am living the story or stories daily but not holding on to them in a tangible way to go back and reflect, cry, laugh, smile, and remember.    I have tried on and off, I love when I find something written down because I don't remember.  I want to feel that little tug at my heart when I reread a story, more often.  I wish I did remember things from long ago to reflect upon now, that I am older and in a different place.  Habits, routines, tools, and methods are great to think about but the ACT is what I need.  I need to capture now and capture the recent past before it comes a distant past that is so much harder to retrieve.

While spending time with Ruth Ayers at The Literacy Connection this past Saturday, she had each of us do a five minute write.  We spent the day celebrating writing, reflecting, and looking ahead as we begin a year long study of her new book, Celebrating Writers - From Possibilities to Publication.  Thank you Ruth, for a few moments to capture my thoughts.  Thank you Stacey for hosting and giving us an opportunity to make our writing public-ation.  You can find everyone who is slicing today at Two Writing Teachers.