My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

February 21, 2012


I spent some quality time this weekend catching up on my favorite blogs.  I've been looking for new books, new ideas and some inspiration.

I need inspiration at this time of year because our state tests begin March 5th, and I'm determined to keep my students, my developing elementary readers, learning and thinking and reading and writing, even when others around me are going crazy with the test prep materials.  Yes, I will sprinkle in a tiny bit of test-taking strategies, but they will be centered on starting and staying confident during a tough passage or test session.

My developing readers are looking for inspiration from me, not frustration.  I can't worry about how they will do on their tests.  I must keep reading and sharing and talking and listening.

Inspiration Found
I found some great inspiration today on Cathy's blog, Reflect & Refine: Building a Learning Community.  She wrote about Kevin Henkes, and now I'm on a quest to read more of his books, especially his chapter books. Tonight I found 6 new-to-me Henkes books at the library.  I'm going to prepare an author study for my 4th & 5th graders.

More Inspiration
My friend, Michelle, over at Literacy Learning Zone writes a Slice of Life each Tuesday and challenged me to join in on the fun. Will I become a regular "slicer?"  It will definitely be a little out of my comfort zone, but I'm up for the challenge

Where do you find inspiration?


  1. If you continue 'slicing' like Michelle, you will find so much inspiration from all that is written. I am about to finish my first year blogging with them & it's been quite a learning year for me, a veteran teacher. Welcome to the group and hoping that it will mean much to you, too. Best wishes on the testing too, to be inspired by how your students take on the work without frustration because you taught them not to be.

  2. You can do it! Slicing is so wonderful! Take it one small step at a time...& reach out to all the slicers for help if you find yourself stuck, we have all been there! So glad your here with us!

  3. Blogs are a great source of inspiration! I can always find a blog post to help me feel refreshed, encouraged, excited... whatever I need. We are so glad that you've joined the Slice of Life community -- it's an amazing place! You will start to be excited for Tuesdays once you get to know people through their writing!

  4. Oh you are lucky to have that friend Michelle! She has just introduced you to an addictive Tuesday activity! I love the way you manipulated the font to match your meaning. You have faith in your kids to continue the work that you have been doing all year, stay the course. You have it right! (In my opinion)

  5. I'm starting my SLICING this week as well. I think you have already hit on a necessary component - writing from YOUR own heart, your own experiences. Can't wait to see your slices!

  6. Yeah! I'm so glad to have you join me in 'slicing'! It's a wonderful community of writers, teachers, thinkers, and nudgers -- nice nudging, of course, to keep writing! Love how you crafted your words with colors and varying sizes to help make your point.

    You know we agree on this topic: Let's continue reading, writing, thinking, talking, and listening!

    Welcome to the Slice of Life community! Let the writing begin!

  7. Inspiration, where do I find it? Your kind post on my blog. Your willingness to try new things. In this week of winter break, I am finding inspiration through the words of other teachers. I am inspired by your profile--how is it you can be fine with not being organized? I am not fine with that. We chose the same busy background for our blogs--too funny! I am looking forward to our newbie slicing together. Hi Chris--I'm Maya. :-)