Saturday, October 25, 2014

This Week's Wows

Here's to the last two weeks!

In the #4 slot . . .

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.

God Bless, 

Friday, October 10, 2014

This Week's Wows

Each week comes with its own challenges and hardships. We never really know what the next week will bring. If we're not looking, the difficulties can shadow our "wow" moments. Well, not this week!

Here are my "wow" moments for this week :)

I almost jumped out of my skin during 5th hour today.
During a game of Jeopardy, one of mybeginning ELL's was able to steal a point away from the other team by answering this question correctly:

"Which Word Attack word means an agreement made by a group of people?" No one remembered, she did!!!!!  The answer, "consensus". 

My sister is recovering from her partial knee replacement surgery more quickly than the doctor had anticipated.  
We couldn't be happier.  

I watched the marathan episodes of Jen Hatmaker's house renovation.  All I could say after each episode was "WOW!"  If you're into decorating and remodeling, 
this is a must see!

Click on her picture to visit her blog and links to the show's information and air times.

And, my #1 WOW moment for this week is being able to get home early after weeks of getting home after 6pm.  

Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend!
Happy Fall Break to many to all of you who will be on fall break this coming week.
No fall break on my end, but still very grateful.

Friday, October 3, 2014

It's "Currently" October

Hi Everyone!
I'm linking up once again with
Farley, at Oh' Boy 4th Grade
for October's Currently.

To see a variety of fun Currentlys, 
take a moment and click on her site.  

October's Currently is sponsored by 

A Grace-Filled Classroom

Here's Mine . . .

Trick for High Maintenance Middle Schoolers:

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.

Wishing You All the Best October Ever!