Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Using my children to lesson plan.

I came to a great realization this evening!!! My children can make my lesson plans for me!

As I was reading their bedtime story, I stopped periodically to have my kids predict, look at format, sentence structure, and synonyms for the title of the book First Day Jitters. I've done this type of thing often; last week I taught them onomotopeia (sp) as we read about bees buzzing and clothes zipping.  But it struck me tonight, that I could use them to lesson plan!

Tomorrow is the first day of school so the book seemed appropriate for bedtime.  It was not the first time they had heard it, but being the teacher that I am, I said, "It's the first time I'm reading it to you so listen to my voice and see if you notice differences from last time you heard the story read aloud."  (On a side note... I'd like to thank Heather Radar from Choice Literacy.  Those words came from her book Side by Side which is one of the fabulous professional reads I enjoyed this summer.) I plan to share it with a group of 5th graders I'll be working with tomorrow, so as I was reading it out loud tonight, many ideas came to me for the lesson I will use. 

I'm excited to share my love of reading with the new students that I will meet tomorrow.  Though they will not be "my" students this year, I will invest all that I have to build confidence in their ability to read and comprehend.  And now that I have (a bit) more time in the evenings to read to my own kids, I will be using them to help me lesson plan for the students who need my help each day in the classroom.  :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Winding down-Gearing up!

I'm trying to get into back to school mode by being awake at 5:30 in the morning.  I forget how relaxing and peaceful this time of day is in my typically noisy house.

Yesterday seemed to be the perfect wake-up call that summer is "over".  It rained ALL day... and I didn't mind one bit! This summer has been one of the best yet; though I think I say that every summer.  My family had an awesome vacation to LA and my husband and I just got back from a much-needed, adult-only trip to Ft. Myers beach.  In between trips we had baseball, out-of-town visitors, sleepovers, and gorgeous weather!! Someone just reminded me of a beautifull quote by Dr. Seuss: "Don't cry because it's over; Smile because it happened."  I think these are words to live by as the lazy days of summer wind down and the chaos of routine gears ups.

Tony, Mia and Gio are starting 2nd grade this year! Where has the time gone?! My wish for them is to have positive memories of adults who make a positive impact on their daily lives. When we send our kids to school, we are trusting the adults who influence them for 8 hours a day will be role models.  This year, in addition to the 3 R's, I wish for my kids to learn kindness, compassion, tolerance and respect for all: nature and man alike.

Welcome to the 2012-2013 school year! May it be the best ever!! :-)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Welcome back, me!

WOW!! I have not blogged since April!  Don't know how I feel about that: am I happy that my life is so full and busy or do I wish I had more time for myself?  Either way, I'm hoping to get back into a routine which this academic year, will include blogging.

As I begin my thirteenth year teaching, I'm having mixed emotions for sure! This year I will not welcome students into my classroom which I have spent hours wanting to decorate and make the most perfect and warming environment possible.  I will not choose the perfect outfit to greet my new 7th graders at the door for the first time and hope that by my appearance they can tell I will love and respect them with everything in me; as I would want my own children's teachers to do for them.

Instead, this year I will stand as a bathroom guard for the students making their final trip before the homeroom bell, outside of my office that (has no AC) will never see the likes of a bunch of students eager to learn the in's and out's of great writing and literacy.  This year, I resume as a teacher in a whole different context.  I will be the teacher who goes into a classroom to help those most struggling readers understand the beauty of words on a page and I just may help one or two teachers this year to understand the beauty of getting their students to understand the words on the page.  Sound confusing?  I'm not quite sure about my role either at this time.  :-)  What I do know is that I pursued this path of Literacy Coaching and I chose the (hot) office over the classroom so with all change come nerves about the unknown; and that's likely the position I'm in. It's going to be a year worth of reflection and learning for sure.  I'm hoping that as I continue to blog, my feelings become more positive about the impact that I am making and the confidence in my ability that I am gaining, beacuse right now, I'm not feeling too confident.  But it will come; I'm sure.  Right?

Now I'm off to choose my best outfit for bathroom duty! :-)