Monday, February 24, 2014

#sol2014 They Should Have Checked the Weather

Displaying DSCN2071.JPG
                                    Papa Robin Learns to Respect the Weather

"I really don't think this is right," said the Mama Robin wearily as she encouraged her children to nibble on the few dried berries that hung lifelessly to the bush surrounded by piles of snow.

"We left on February 20th.  We turned north in Virginia.  We made all the regular stops, didn't we?" the weary mate responded.  "We made the trip just like my parents and grandparents before them.  We followed the regular path on the regular time schedule. This time, I even checked my phone and my iPad before we left and every time we stopped.  I didn't see a single update about "lingering winter" or piles of snow that were "hanging on."   I really can't believe there are still so many piles of snow around here!"

"I told you to stop when we first saw snow and were still in Virginia," she responded firmly. "I told you the weather channel indicated it was snowing heavily and we should wait. You said you had it all under control.  We should have stopped and asked for clarification about the weather and our direction!"

"I don't understand," the Papa Robin said remorsefully, "I've never been confused about spring before! I saw the calendar on my phone, got the groundhog report on my iPad, and I even got a glimpse of a box of Spring Oreos on Facebook! Next year, I'll have to listen to "social media" a little less and the the weather channel a little more!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

#celebratelu 2014 The brave ice warrior

Discover. Play. Build.
Thanks to Ruth for encouraging us to "celebrate" each week.

This week, 
When cold and ice ruled our land,
When we shoveled more than once, 
I have much to celebrate,
Including this, small moment.
On the warmest of days in months,
Long after I would have normally left the house,
As the temps soared to an unfathomable 40,
As the sun shone bright in the sky,
As I slid into an icy bank,
After I called for help,
After he questioned the veracity of my claim,
After he too slid down the icy drive,
After he found his dad's old ice scraper,
.While I watched him gingerly navigate the icy slope,
While he played hockey with the ice chips,
While I sat safely in my car, waiting,
I celebrated,
The skills learned in backyard Boccie and Jarts,
The moves mastered long ago on hopscotch and shuffleboard courts,
The power of sodium chloride,
A brave ice-warrior,
Who faced the icy river,
Over slick-as-can-be ice. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

#weareteachers Sharing Apps for STEAM

What are you bringing back to school from your winter break?
On your way home, or as you rethink your lessons for next week....
Head on over
We Are Teachers has is a great list of Apps organized for STEAM.  
All the links are there

Thursday, February 20, 2014

#OLW 2014 Update on seeking JOY

For the record, I have not forgotten nor abandoned my OLW for 2014, JOY, but it has taken some work to embrace it many days! 

I've had a cold for, it seems, forever (at least since this winter started)!   We've had endless snow, ice, freezing rain (at least since this winter started).  Some of those I love and care about have been sick, suffering, or had terrible hardships.

Yet, today, this message popped up on the social media, and I knew it was meant as a reminder for today. 

#EDWEEK Common-Core Tensions

I've tried, like most teachers, to understand and embrace the CCS.  Let's be honest, I don't want to be THAT teacher who says, "the old ways are the best."  There are always ways we can make our teaching and student learning more effective for all students.....SO I read and read and this article from this wee's Education Week  Common-Core Tensions Cause Union Heartburn - Education Week

It describes the tension and political strife that has endured with the "roll out of the CCSS" in New York and in other states.  It's an important read for all of us who really want to do our best to prepare our students for the world in which they will live.  It's an important read for parents, too, as they work with us to assure their students have the very best educations and are prepared for the future. 
However, I couldn't help but smile, a wee bit, as I read the article and random thoughts from not so long ago, wandered through my mind.  We're in the midst of a new politically and emotionally charged debate about what is best for all kids in which we are embroiled today.  In some ways, it's like the Great Reading Wars of the last century! 

Perhaps, we can look at history, and put kids and learning ahead of political and personal agendas, as we work through this current educational debate?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Restoring the Soul and Skill of Educators Through Engaged Teaching | Edutopia

Restoring the Soul and Skill of Educators Through Engaged Teaching | Edutopia

Read With Me: 5 Tips to Foster a Love for Reading | Edutopia

Read With Me: 5 Tips to Foster a Love for Reading | Edutopia

Whey we must teach grammar


Grammarly Makes me smile.  That is why I follow it on Twitter and on Facebook.    


It is also a reminder of WHY we must teach Grammar! 

#sol2014 Could we just call them "creations"?

Many have "vacated,"
Left the bitter cold and snowy piles behind,
Overcame cancelled flights,
Endured sleepless nights,
For the Grand Canyon, Mexico, Florida,
"Creating" memories during "winter vacation." 
While I did not "leave,"
I've stepped over laundry,
Looked beyond dust bunnies,
Focused on piecing a quilt,
Nursed my endless winter cold,
Experimented with technology,
Enjoyed long nights with multiple books,
Watched Olympic skiers and skaters, 
"Creating" memories during "winter vacation." 
Perhaps these school breaks
Should be known for what they really are,
Creations: times to "create" - sunny and snowy- memories. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Where Does Poetry Fit? A Common Core Dilemma Part 2

There are no specific CCS mentions of poetry in primary standards for reading or writing
however, there are specific references to stanzas and poetic language.  In addition,
approximately 15% of the NYS add-on part of the CCSS includes poetry, as in the sample

So, where does poetry fit?  Everywhere! 
               Phonemic Awareness
           Close Reading 
           Central Message
           Partnered with Mentor Texts  
           Grammar  (parts of speech)
           Responding to Reading
           Oral Presentations