Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
From Anna Cockerille of Two (or more) Writing Teachers Fame. here are FIVE amazing mni-grammar-writing lessons. These suggestions are TOO good to miss!
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Friday, September 9, 2016
It was certainly "hot" in the hallway as I walked one of my "customers" back to class and a colleague commented, "It is so hot in hear, we could fry an egg in this hallway."
I suspect I nodded, understanding the reference and agreeing it was hot; however, after we were down the hallway a bit, my reflective young reader offered her own perspective on the heat - or perhaps the lack of it.
"It's not really hot," she noted, "until your hair is sweating."
I smiled as her comment did not require a response. She was right, indeed. Really hot is when you have been really working out at the gym, or running around the yard, or running a marathon! You are working so hard, your hair becomes drippy from sweat. Clearly, we were uncomfortable today, but we were not working THAT hard!
Perspective: an important part of reflection.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Monday, September 5, 2016
During "back to school" season, there are lots of teachers who find themselves with shortened/split/overprogrammed/RTI filled/writing intense/reader response filled/busy ELA blocks. So much to do...so little time. There are also many teachers working outside their comfort zone. Sometimes it is a new grade level or sometimes it is a particularly challenging group, academically or behaviorally. Most of us have been there at some point. I suspect Heinemann was thinking of that often asked question when they write this post.
https://medium.com/@heinemann/these-18-practices-are-proven-effective-for-teaching-reading-5ea6c9424fa0#.nofx5dz77 The suggestions are certainly based on research based teaching practices. No matter where readers are on the journey, we need to focus on MEANING. Without meaning, there really isn't any real reading! We need to value "read alouds" which serve as reading models and motivators, especially when they allow readers to "stretch"where they cannot yet go independently. Encourage, motivate, and value the reading experiences of your students. Talk about books and encourage readers to talk about what they are reading. Embrace whatever they will read! Remember, phonics is the key to understanding the code of print; however, it is not focused on reading as a meaning making process. Writing, however, is the inverse meaning making process and activates the same centers of the brain, the meaning making. Check out the Heinemann page for the full article.
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Thursday, August 11, 2016
I learned to swim in a tiny, poured concrete pool in the mobile home park where I lived. I suspect "Ed Smith," who owned the lot where mobile homes were headed onto postage stamps, built the pool by hand. I suspect that swimming the length of it was really no big deal: however, five year old me envisioned myself as nearly an Olympic swimmer when I first finished the distance.
My mom did not swim, did not like water, did not like to be around the pool; however, my dad, whose swimming roots were in a tiny turtle-filled pond on a farm, had other ideas about the potential of swimming for his young daughters. So, after he got home from work, we went swimming. We jumped in off the rough concrete sides again We laughed as the cool water licked our faces. We had daddy -daughter time and pool-time almost every night in those days before we had TV, in those days before we could even read to ourselves on summer nights.
Yesterday, however, I inched my way into a new and unfamiliar swimming venue. Yes, there was a wee bit of "I'll do it but then you have to get in too happening." Yes, that's me swimming in an "invigorating" cave. Yes, it was cold and dark in that place where the sun doesn't shine.
Yes, it was an experience I will treasure for a lifetime. Cold, clear and captivating water envelopes your body as you descend the stairs. Yet, after you adjust, the cave becomes your own God-made-stalactite-filled swimming hole!
I suspect my dad and the one who made that swimming hole were smiling as we paddled around
Ps Thanks to the stranger who offered to take a picture as there was no way you could get out and then face re-entry!