Saturday, September 17, 2016

An Invitation {Celebrate this Week}

When I began teaching, I learned about a wonderful local organization promoting the use of children's literature in classrooms.  Several of my colleagues were involved with The Literacy Connection and I enjoyed hearing their conversations about the programming they were planning and organizing.  I attended a session or two early on and then didn't so I could be home as much as possible with the girls.  

I then switched school districts, needed some continuing education credits, and missed the spirit of my old school.  I decided to look into The Literacy Connection for their programming and fell in love.  Yes, it's true - I love my time I spend learning with The Literacy Connection community.  People come because they want to.  People choose to study a professional book for the year.  The author of these professional books comes twice to speak, share, and listen as we learn together.  I love listening to professional authors.

I'll never forget that first year I returned and navigated my way into Max Brand and Franki Sibberson's small group because I was a huge fan, quite the stalker move.  I hung back as I saw people start to gather and form groups.  I didn't make eye contact with a couple of people in my new district in hopes of being asked to join the neighboring school district which was closer to my house with Franki.  It worked.  I was going to go and visit Max Brand's classroom!  As I sat there with two of my heroes, I just wanted to pinch myself.  

After several years of attending, I finished and maxed out my continuing education credits and thought I would save some money and take a year or two off.  That didn't work, my heart was calling me to go.  Connecting with others who want to learn on a Saturday, drives my own work and passion.    Seeing friends from neighboring districts fuels my soul.  I called the Wednesday before the first Saturday and asked if I could still come.  Of course, they said yes.  

Today I attended my first board meeting for The Literacy Connection.  When I got my invitation email this summer I couldn't believe it.  I was so surprised and honored.  I'm really looking forward to my participation as a board member and continuing the work to promote childrens literature.  

If you are local or can travel, please consider joining us for our visits with Kate Roberts this year, as we study her and Maggie B Roberts book DIY Literacy, Teaching Tools for Differentiation, Rigor, and Independence.

Thank you Ruth at Ruth Ayers Writes for encouraging us to find daily celebrations in our lives.  If you want to read more positive things stop by this week's post, Hug Em'.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Anticipation and Faith {Slice of Life}

Low tide.
An opportunity to see the dolphins.
I've waited two years.

We are walking the beach.
Just N and I.
Three more join us.
The inlet seems further away.
Three leave us.

Faith keeps two walking.
Anticipation keeps us going,
Maybe a pinch of determination.
We see beach goers headed back.
Maybe we missed them.
Faith and anticipation turn into hope.

We arrive hopeful.
We scan the beach.
We wait with anticipation.
We start relying on faith and believing,
they will come.

This is at Seabrook Island in South Carolina.  One of the few places in the world where dolphins strand feed.  For more information - from the National Wildlife Federation.

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers group for hosting our writing community and you can enjoy other slices from today by stopping by the link provided.  Thank you for stopping by.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Listening {Celebrate this Week}

This week I'm celebrating taking the time to listen to my students.

I just completed my fourth week of school.  If you are in education you know all about the hustle and bustle of starting a new school year.  Each year things increase.  Each year crazy things are thrown at us that are nonnegotiable.  Each year there is a lot of self talk; get off this bus, slow down, and get back to what you know works.  Well, I can't completely get off the bus because I have to turn in the scores from three one minute probes to determine a child's fluency online and big brother is watching but what I can do is sit with my students.  I can ask them questions about their reading lives.  I can probe for more insight.  I can listen.  When I chose to listen, I found personality, honesty, warmth, and love in these new students; a formula for learning.

Do you have a favorite author?  Explain.
     I don’t really know much authors, I have this friend George he works at the library close to my house and I don’t know if he makes books but he is funny and a nice guy.

How do you feel about reading?
     bored sometimes, I find a lot of books I don’t like

What kinds of books do you like to read?
     Puff the Magic dragon, it’s a family favorite

Where do you read at home?
     I like to read in my room, it’s really quiet or outside

What was your last favorite book?  Explain
     I don’t really have one because I will technically read anything.