Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Meet Up!

So this is a record.  It's still June and I'm posting AGAIN!  This MUST be summer vacation.  Let me start by pointing out that blonde over there on the right.  She's the reason I'm sporting a sunburn.  I decided to play around with my Art Studio app this morning and wasn't paying attention to how long I was sitting in the sun.  Ouch! I feel obligated to disclose some information here:  I look nothing like her.  The blonde hair is now graying (long, but graying), there are a few extra pounds hanging around, and my feet aren't that small.  But I created her in the image of what I would want to look like if I was a piece of clipart.

This is the real me.....

I thought I'd join in with The Teaching Tribune's Monday Meet Up.  I know, this is Week 4 for everyone else, but it's Week 1 for me and I'm pretty excited about it!

Here are a few completely random tidbits about me.  

I'm curious, what's the most interesting food item you've ever eaten?  

Be sure to head over to The Teaching Tribune to read some entertaining tidbits about your fellow bloggers.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Reading in the Wild: Chapter 1

I know, two posts in one day.  I'm sorry.  I just had to link up with Ideas by Jivey's book study of Reading in the Wild.

I just finished reading the first chapter, "Wild Readers Dedicate Time to Read", and had to respond.  It felt like coming home.  Our school has gotten so far away from giving students the chance to read independently and it's made my heart sad.  Readers' workshop has gone by the wayside.  Guided/leveled reading groups, reading intervention pull-outs and push-ins, and fidelity to the curriculum, while all have their place, have  pushed that sacred time right out the door.  It's gotten to the point where most teachers feel guilty if admin walks in to find kids reading silently at desks, under desks, stretched out on the carpet or snuggled into a comfy little nook.  Imagine that.  Having to feel guilty when you have 34 kids fully immersed in a book of their choosing?  What a horrible reading for the sheer joy of reading!

I will admit, that over the years, it has been difficult not to succumb to the pressure.  In Room 24, we still have Fall in Love with Your Book Time for 20 minutes when we return from the library.  After FILWYBT is over, students are invited to give a quick book talk to share first impressions of their new reading material. My students know to always have the book they are currently smitten with on their desks for when their other assignments are complete and we sponge up any extra minutes between preps, lunch, and recess by opening up those same books. They know that this is our covert independent reading time.  Each and EVERY day, I use the last 10-15 minutes for a read aloud.  Shhhhh!

This coming year, we're jumping into common core and new curriculum with both feet.  I'm not sure how it will all work, but I'm determined to find time each day to dedicate to the type of reading Miller describes in Chapter 1.

"When students read together every day, they forge strong bonds though shared reading experiences that help them define themselves as members of a reading tribe."  I love this!  I want to do whatever I can to help my students become a tribe of wild readers this coming year.

Like others who have already responded to Chapter 1, I love the idea of having a book on hand at all times for 'reading emergencies'.  I usually carry my iPad mini with me for just such occasions.  On our recent camping trip, I was chastised a bit for bringing a piece of technology into the wild.  I quickly pointed out that it was my 'book' and not an iPad mini at all.  Having finished my current book half way through the trip, I was more than a bit upset when I realized I hadn't downloaded the next book on my list!  With no internet connection, I was in a true reading emergency! You can bet I'll be more prepared next time.

Five for Friday!

It must be summer vacation...I have leisurely sipped my cup of coffee, walked the three Wild Ones, and have been catching up on some much neglected blog reading for the last hour or three.  I've also found time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching's Five for Friday linky party!

So what's been going on this week?

Not the best way start to summer vacation, but I did what teachers often seem to do best and ignored my health as we wrapped up the school year.  So long sinus infection!

My husband and I loaded up the three Wild Ones and headed for the mountains for a few days.  We camped at Gerle Creek, perhaps the quietest campground you'll ever find.  Days were spent either romping through the woods or hanging along the shoreline with our energetic pups.  You'll notice the hooded sweatshirt I'm sporting.  Yes, it was COLD up there!  

Just started reading this.  I fully intend to link up with Ideas by Jivey's book study.  I just need to catch up!  I borrowed the ebook from the library, but already know that I want a copy of my own to keep.

I HATE shopping for clothes.  There.  I said it.  However, my son's graduation in Las Vegas next week is a formal affair.  So I had no choice.  Fortunately, I have my own built-in personal daughter.  I basically stand in a dressing room and she brings all the possibilities to me.  We laugh, we giggle, we cringe, and I sometimes cry.  It's a painful process made a little bit more enjoyable by having someone do all the work for you.  The dress in the middle is for the big event.  The other two, while I'm not sure I'm keeping both yet, are just for fun.  Does anyone really 'need' two polka dotted dresses?  The one on the left is brown and very Pretty Woman-like.  Neither are really 'me', but maybe it's time to redefine 'me'?

A co-worker showed up at my door last night.  He's the only co-worker who lives in the same town as I do.  We used to commute together until he transferred to a different campus.  He came back to our site this year, but I opted not to carpool with him. While I felt guilty about not joining in again, I enjoyed my solitary commute and wasn't ready to give it up.  That's my unwinding time.  That's my one opportunity to sing as loud as I want or to just sit in silence. Carpooling with fellow teachers means a daily rehashing debrief.  It often feels like work isn't over until I step out of the car.  Call me selfish, but I don't want to carpool.  Anyway, back to my story.  This man is a pretty amazing human being and I could probably write a whole blog post about how caring and kind he is.  As he stood at my door last night, he handed me a card.  It was a thank you with the sweetest sentiments written inside along with a Jamba Juice card.  What did I do to deserve this treat?  Nothing. He was in a car accident during the last week of school and needed a ride to school one day.  ONE day.  I get a heartfelt thanks and some yummy Jamba Juice for that?  I told you he is an amazing human being.  I thanked him and said, "Let's carpool next year."  He smiled and said, "I'd like that."  I can still do my singing in the shower.

I'll end this with my goal for this summer's vacation.  At summer's end, I want to feel as relaxed as Gus looks in this picture:

A napping Wild One