Musings from a K-5th Reading Specialist. I encourage my students to think, speak, read, and write, with my support.
I parent two amazing young adult daughters with my husband of 28 years.

September 24, 2013

The True First Day

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Two Writing Teachers
The first day of school was August 21st for students and classroom teachers.

Since I'm a resource teacher, I helped students and parents find their classrooms, caught up on their summer activities and basked in the beautiful sunshine at lunch recess.

During the next few weeks, classroom teachers and students built community, learned routines, enjoyed learning together.

Resource teachers gave district assessments, diagnostic assessments, compared new students with current students, popped in for a few classroom read alouds, created and revised Instructional Planning forms, created data sheets and spreadsheets, and truly hoped their work positively benefits the classroom teachers and the students.

Today we welcomed primary students to resource groups.  I had to completely shift my thinking and function from whole-school and grade levels and data management to children.  Real children who greeted me with hugs and high-fives.  As I left classrooms, I heard tiny voices, "I can come, too!  Don't forget me! I'd like to go!"

Today I went from thinking and collaborating to listening and conversing.  One student remarked, "I have missed you SO MUCH!"

I really hope all our front-end, building-wide spreadsheets and forms will be seen as time well spent. It's hard to hear from a colleague exactly how many days of school we've had before resource groups began.  I don't want to "compete"... I really don't.  Our roles are vastly different and incredibly essential to student success.
May we all have a common goal.

Today was a good day.

September 17, 2013

Pretend You're an Armadillo

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Two Writing Teachers

My oldest daughter asked me yesterday, "When is the last time you blogged?"
"August something," I replied.
"August 13th," she stated.  "Better get writing!"


School started on August 19th after my extended summer vacation (I left school in May to care for my hubby after surgery).  The school year has started out smoothly, but of course it's had its share of bumps.  Each event - from school and from home -  screamed to be a slice:

  • Book Talk Tuesday Rocks!
  • Screening Assessments Completed in Record Time!
  • Football Season Starts:  Poms!  Band!  Fun in the Stands!
  • Are Co-Taught Classes Right for You?
  • Can We Live Through the College Application Process?!?!?!
  • Is That an Ambulance in Our Driveway?!
(P.S. The ambulance was in our driveway, and all turned out fine!)

Whew.  Life sure does have some pretty big ups and downs.  It also have some little problems that feel like big deals. This brings me to the title of my slice:  Pretend You're an Armadillo

Photo from Texas Parks & Wildlife
Today I told my youngest daughter that she needs to pretend she's an armadillo.  We ALL need to feel more like the armadillo.  I have never met one personally, but I can see from the picture that armadillos have  a shell that looks like armor.  Armadillos avoid being eaten by predators because their shell protects them (but not from cars, according to my research).

My younger daughter (and myself, at times) has a pretty soft outer shell.  She easily lets teasing, bad feelings and the crummy moods of people around her permeate her attitude. 

My goal for her is to be more like an armadillo and let her outer shell deflect the negativity.  Of course, she has to learn how to do this in a positive way (especially when her friends pull a prank on her and she's unhappy).  I know this is a life lesson that many adults still need to work on, but I think we'll have some success soon.

Next time you feel negative feelings creeping towards your positive attitude... be an armadillo.