I had a lovely time with a few of my colleagues hanging out at our school's Barnes & Noble Night. (I should have taken a pic . . .) I also bought two books. One was recommended by one of the blogs I clicked on when I participated in the October Currently, As the Classroom Turns. I also saw it again on a Pinterest pin by Miss Radka's Rhapsody. After reading about "Wonder" by R.J.Palacio in both blogs, I decided to buy the 365 Days of Wonder by R.J.Palacio. I plan to use some of his precepts as journal reflections. I also bought Shel Silverstein's "Falling Up".
I also plan to use some of his poetry as journal reflections this year, as well. Our first enjoyment was the little poem, "Safe?". We discussed the vocabulary, the play on words, multiple and deeper meanings. Even a poem as simple as "Safe?" can be "rigorous" for an ELL. I've got my work cut out for me this year.
In the 3rd slot . . .
This past Monday was a Teacher Work Day.
I wish I had a T.W.D. every week.
In the 2nd slot . . .
My students took their second reading inventory. I had several students raise their lexiles by over 100 points in just nine weeks! Woah! I think it may be due to the Reading Plus program. The students who have been using it regularly, more than I require, were the ones who noticed more gains.
And, my #1 "Wow" . . .
My #1 wow for this week was really from last weekend. I spent a lovely time at a Women's Retreat with my mom and sister. The weather was great, so was the company, and the camp was peaceful and pleasant.
Just what the doctor ordered. . .
As the days fly by, literally, I am compelled to look for beauty and blessings, even in the midst of craziness. If there's one thing I am sure of, now more than ever, is that life goes by way too quickly. May we find something to celebrate each and every day and take advantage of the opportunities to enjoy the journey.
I pray you all have a lovely, safe, and memorable weekend.
In my experience compliments yield more favorable results than any other feedback. And, negative feedback sandwiched in compliments is received more readily.
When my students walk in at the beginning of the period, I stand at the door with stickers, yes stickers. Middle schoolers still love them. (I collect stickers all year long and I have a good variety.) Without saying much, I just intentionally, and sometimes dramatically, search for students who follow our walk-in routine quickly, quietly, maturely and correctly.
As soon as I see the first one, I walk to his or her desk, express my gratitude and a specific compliment. I then put a sticker on the back of their hand. In less than a few minutes I have the entire class on task, and almost always, everyone starts the period with a compliment. When an unexpected incident threatens to disrupt the routine, I quickly begin to appreciate and specifically thank students who are cooperating and complying,
and things get back in order.
By the end of the year student notebooks, journals and agendas are covered with their rewards. Some days, I omit the sticker, and I just say, "_________ gets a compliment for _________." And, it works just as well. Validation, recognition and appreciation goes a long way.
It's so nice to have a day off so soon after school started! We've only been in school for two weeks, but it sure has been lots of work. We're gearing up for our Open House next week. My room has been a work in progress this year. I "brilliantly" waited to buy classroom supplies for August. I just thought I'd go to my local teacher store and pick things up there instead of ordering them through our bookkeeper. Big mistake. Unbeknowst to me, the two stores in our county that sold school supplies closed down!
Every summer I have "organize my photo albums" on my Summer Do List. And, every summer I take out the albums, become overwhelmed, and leave it for next week. Well, next week has turned into "next summer". I hope I next summer will be the summer I finally finish this task.
I did find some memorable pictures while looking through the albums. These are pics of my old classroom at the elementary school where I taught during the 90's. We had several ESOL teachers, for a few years I was assigned Kindergarten. I have fond memories of those days. The kids were great and I worked with amazing colleagues that are still my friends today.