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.



September 30, 2014

Thanking My Village

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at Two Writing Teachers


It takes a village to run a classroom.

It's important to thank the members of your village.
Today I take a minute to do just that.

From the custodians who sweep up the scraps and talk football and home improvement,
to the resource friends who make sure
you have the best read alouds,
the best classroom setup,
and are the best support system
a girl could ask for
(including emergency pie on Saturday nights).

From the family and friends
who are patient and willing to help,
to the parents
who write notes like
"no worries" and "thank you."

From the teammates who say
today is the day
you step outside 
the building to get some lunch
to the secretaries and nurse that tell me
"No question is too silly.  Thanks for asking.  I'll help you."

From the support team
who brainstorms and brings fidgets
and puppets and posters

to the students,
the energetic
enthusiastic
smiling
students
who forgive my mistakes
("You said meet me on the table instead of carpet!")
and draw me beautiful pictures
and remind me
why I come to school
each day.

P.S. Thanks to Lynn for the writing nudge

September 2, 2014

Snail's Pace

Read more Slice of Life stories at
Two Writing Teachers


It's the start of week 3 in the new classroom.  The big, disorganized, can't remember where anything is, classroom.

I've decided to take a snail's pace when it comes to the cabinets and shelves.  I inherited many materials from last year's teacher (thank you to J!) but there are also YEARS of books and other materials from previous teachers who left many "treasures" behind.

I'm not discouraged by a classroom full of supplies.  Really.  I just wish I had the time to sort, purge and organize.  (Don't laugh at that last word!)

Instead, I'm spending time really thinking about instruction.  I'm being mindful when it comes to reader's workshop, writing time and math. I'm taking my time in launching the Daily 5.  We are going slow to grow, as my friends Michelle and Karen always say.

I'm trying to find one-on-one time with each student each week. I'm complimenting good behavior more than I'm correcting mistakes.  I'm letting students explain directions to each other.  I'm asking students for feedback.  I'm apologizing for misplacing the timer (for the 5th time!!!!) and forgetting to bring the cushions (I fixed that today.)

I'm trying to keep a snail's pace.  I'm building relationships and trust with my students.  I'm taking each day as they come.

I'm asking my colleagues for help.  I'm trying not to whine (it's hard!).  I'm trying to smile and get lots of sleep.

Taking a snail's pace is new for me.  I think I like it.