Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Dear Miss James, {Slice of Life}

Dear Miss James,

Tonight as my college freshman was face timing me and talking about life she told me about a conversation she had with you.  I loved hearing her story with my mama heart and my heart as an educator myself.  She wants to be prepared.  She wants to do well.  She wants to add things to her lists of lists and cross things off. 

She asked you where the materials are to study for her Apparel final exam.  Your reply was, "they are in your head."  I burst out laughing because I know it's not the response she wanted or the response she expected.  She's use to review packets, pages of notes, and study guides; sadly. If our children are learning every day and a final exam is built on that day to day learning; it should be in her head.  Your reply indicates you've taught her to think.  You've taught her to use her experiences to communicate her learning.  I can't wait to hear what your final exam actually is!  

Thank you for teaching her this first semester of college and guiding her to trust her own thinking, learning, and heart.

Mandy Robek

Epilogue - I googled Miss James and found her picture at the Kent State University faculty page for  the Fashion Design college.  I sent the photo to my daughter and asked if this was her teacher and she replied with, "Yeah that's her.  Please don't email her."  She read my mind!  I didn't email her and instead decided to share this slice of life with my teaching friends in hopes you find a nugget for your own.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Choral Counting and Counting Collections {Math Monday}

At our recent state math conference I heard positive reviews for Choral Counting and Counting Collections written by Megan L Franke, Elham Kazemi, and Angela Chan Turrou.  I had previously read a little bit about counting collections and as I pondered about my current mathematicians I wanted to explore these two activities further.  I think curriculum changes have de-emphasized the importance of choral counting and looking for number patterns which foster number sense.

This book is written for K - 5 classrooms and I'm thrilled to share there are plenty of examples in the text stretching what might appear as K-2 activities.  I'm quite fascinated about the visual recordings and the different decisions a teacher can make to help foster number thinking.  Discussing what students notice is a great tool to make thinking visible and supports striving mathematicians.  I'm pondering how the ideas in this book help mathematicians work with fluidness through the CRA model; Conrete, Representational, and Abstract with the Choral Counting having us work through this in a backwards manner.

Nudges I found to try within my own work

- make a visual record of choral counts 
- rearrange how these choral counts and records are recorded
           (horizontal or vertical and how many numbers in each row)
- implement counting collections
- ponder whole class counting collection day or as a menu activity
- discuss what we notice from choral count records and celebrate noticing

Quotes that are sticking with me

"When we leave the activity open for young mathematicians to reason about structure, quantity,and organization, we allow them to problem-solve, to build on their own ideas and those of their classmates, and to grapple with what makes sense."

"While accuracy is important in counting, we caution agains making accuracy the ultimate focus...too narrow of a focus on accuracy can zap that joy and wonder."

"In the same way that reads learn to select just-right books, young mathematicians learn how to set just-right challenges for themselves."

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Some Days my Head Spins...{Slice of Life}

Some days my head spins just thinking about spelling rules and spelling rule breakers.  Today was one of those days.  My class is working with suffixes this week and while looking at ed endings we discovered sometimes adding ed doesn't work.  For example,  ate and ran.  There's excitement when rule breakers are discovered.  As we discuss each rule breaker I can see clarity in their thinking and learning transferred.  Spelling rules seem to make sense for a bit.

Later in the day, I'm working with a reteaching group and our focus is to understand three ways to make the  k sound when we will use each one.  Over a few days we've made progress in knowing when to use a c or k at the beginning of a word.  In helping my reteaching group see it in new ways from the initial learning, I realize how hard it is to for striving word learners to see how the second letter in each word determines the first.  We use a k if the vowel is an e, i, or y.  Which leaves using the c if the vowel is an a, o, or u.  In thinking about when to use ck, students need to realize the word has a short vowel sound and ends with a ck.  Spelling rules are making writing laborious.    

Some days my head spins just thinking about spelling rules and spelling rule breakers.  Every day my head doesn't spin during writing workshop when we are making things and spelling is part of the process; not the focus.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

No More Dreading {Slice of Life}

"This is really helping me with my writing!" said the visiting second grade student as we transitioned back to our classrooms in anticipating of packing up and going home for the day.  He wore the biggest smile and melted my heart.  

At the end of the day, I kept replaying this sweet smile, face, and heartfelt thinking.  After four days, I had helped this student.  This conversation is the best form of formative assessment.  A student feels empowered.  A student feels successful.  A student feels his transferring of direct word study help is transferring to his writing.

As I reflected today about this quick exchange, I realized I can no longer dread this chunk of time in my day.  Three days a week our grade level is to provide and plan for an intervention/enrichment block.  Students who receive ELL, multi sensory systematic phonics, and sometimes speech are pulled for services during this block and no new learning is to occur.  Three days a week I'm offering reteaching for students who need support with word study.  My teammate is offering enrichment for students understanding our word study unit focuses.  It can be frustrating at times to lose these minutes with my students.  In the past our plans or ideas were complicated and hard.  We tried to mix up our students across four or five classrooms.  This year we've simplified.  We've focused on what this idea is truly based on; reteaching to offer more time and different ways to see learning and enrichment to stretch our learners who need more than the "program". 

I am grateful for listening closely; for hearing eight little words that turned dread into meaning.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Literacy Connection {Professional Development}

It's a Saturday morning and I drive to the neighboring school district to gather with new and old friends for a day of learning.  Except this kind of pd feels different.  It's not planned for me with someone else's agenda.  I chose to attend today.  It's not a conference with a plethora of speakers and I get to pick and choose my sessions and schedule for the day.  I do enjoy that format.  It's one speaker for the day.  The author of our book study for the year and I can't think of a better way to kick off a book study than working with the author - in the same room!

I am blessed to have spent Saturday with The Literacy Connection and Kristin Ziemke.  Kristin co-authored Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom.  Each time I hear Kristin I am inspired and motivated to use technology in a creative way to show student learning.  I'm motivated to use it as a means for collaboration.  I want to try something immediately.  

Here's a list of learning moments or words I hung on to from spending time with Kristin - 

"Some of the most important lessons aren't my lessons, it's what kids bring."

Visuals are tremendously important.  They educate, equip, and empower us.  Seeing information allows for a greater percentage of recall and travels to our brain much quicker than words.

I've always enjoyed visuals and was happy to learn text and visuals stimulates both hemispheres of the brain.  

I've seen quite a bit about sketch noting and haven't taken the time to find out more.  Kristin shared we are able to grasp information faster than traditional note taking.  I might have to play around with this.  

"It's not about the tech - it's about teaching and thinking not everything has to sparkle and be shiny."

Management Trick - screens go up and there's less collaboration.  Ask students to flip over iPads or close chrome books for learning moments.

Technology doesn't have to be overwhelming.  She kept on urging us to use less tools.  If we help our students learn one new thing each quarter and focus on a 80% creating 20 evaluation we'll be doing great things.

Anchor charts for technology workshop - work too.

Tech is about balance.  She suggested we hook the kids with the tech and bring them to the text.  

Monday, October 15, 2018

OCTM Annual Conference {Math Monday}

Getting to an out of town conference always takes a bit of work and once I'm there, I never regret going.  Last week, I gathered with other state educators at the annual Ohio Council Teachers of Mathematics for two days of learning.   The conference theme was Bouncing Mathematical Ideas Around: Connecting and Collaborating in the Rubber City (Akron, OH).  The two days were just that; connecting and learning from and with others.  It's hard to replicate everything said, seen, and pondered so I'll share ten highlights in no particular order.

Juli Dixon shared, when students don’t have access to a productive struggle that becomes an equity issue.  We need to think about just in time scaffolding and not plan for just in case.  Allowing space for productive struggle and discourse.  That discourse could be student to student and student to teacher. 

Many of us live in a time where we are asked to post essential questions and/or learning targets in our classroom.  Juli Dixon urges us to zoom out for these to prevent giving away the punch line.  This encourages discovery and exploration.  I'd like to think of it as a means for fostering inquiry and connections.

Juli Dixon and friends have a new book, Small Group, Big Gains: Leading Effective Pulled Small Group Instruction.  She shared some sneak peaks from it that really nudged my own thinking about math workshop.  The purpose for small group work is for diagnosis and differentiation.  Diagnosis lets us see and hear student thinking up close; discovering misconceptions and understandings.  Differentiation is a place for remediation and enrichment.  

She also suggested small groups aren't needed every day and grouping should be organized in a moderately heterogeneous way.  I loved hearing her support small groups are NOT ability groups.

C-R-A model; Concrete (models), Representational (drawings) and Abstract (equations) was highlighted in two of my sessions.  Both sessions reminded us that at any given time we have students sitting in front of us at each of these stages.

We want to use the CRA model to help build mathematical fluency.

Dan Meyer encourages us to bring surprise back to teaching mathematics.  Good stories have lots of surprises and surprise brings interesting learning.   He had us ponder, What is a mathematical surprise?  He stated, textbooks ruin surprise.  He urged us to make math class more like things our students like to do.

Numberless word problems is something to look at.

I participated in my first 3 Act Math Tasks and would agree the purpose of these activities is to engage our students, understand math is needed in real life and changes math feelings.

Working with numbers abstractly doesn't work...students need numbers in context.  Let's anchor it to How Many pictures and children's literature.

Friday, October 5, 2018

What if? Could it? {Poetry Friday}

What if I could sit here all day?
Could it slow the hustle and bustle?

What if I could watch the grass grow?
Could it make time slow down?

What if I could feel the blue water?
Could it bring my shoulders down?

What if I could paint the clear blue sky?
Could it capture this space in time?

What if I could hold this moment in time?
Could it bring peace within?

I'm working my way through and studying Poems are Teachers How Studying Poetry Strengthen Writing in All Genres by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater.   Each week I will let you know the technique of the week I've played with and a thought or two about the process.  

"Dress-up is a form of what if, as is playing in a blanket fort.  For a child anything is possible.  For a child, the world is full of what if.  As writers, we work to come back to that place."

I was traveling last weekend through New York State and stopped at my favorite rest stop to just see this view.  I had a couple of more hours to travel and didn't want to leave.  I had the first line of this poem right then.  The week got busy and I returned to this moment with a photo and pondered some more.  I love the quote above from Amy about working to find that playful state of what if.  I'm going to revisit this strategy and ponder being a bit more playful.

Thank you Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for hosting Poetry Friday.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

I Am Human - A Book of Empathy

I knew I Am Human - a Book of Empathy by Susan Verdi and Peter H Reynolds would be beautiful, heart tugging, and filled with guidance.  The book begins with affirmations.  Affirmations are empowering; helping our mindset and mental wellness.  The book shifts to helping the reader understand that being human involves making mistakes, hurting others, and being hurt ourselves.  The authors give the opportunity for readers to think about three emotions; fear, timid, and sadness. I believe the illustrations will guide students to think about their own emotions of fear, timid, and sadness.  It's important we help children and adults navigate different emotions and realize emotions don't always last.  The reader is then presented with ideas for moving forward with examples of choices one can make to turn their feelings around.  The story ends with the best guidance of all; we are not alone and ways we are all connected.

As I finished reading this book yesterday in class, I was reminded how important repeated readings are for increased understanding and thinking.  A student asked me what empathy means when we finished reading the story.  I tried to explain it as the bell rang to end our day.  I spent time rereading the book and finding places where we can discuss and describe empathy tomorrow and on future revisits.  

Friday, September 21, 2018

More Pandas {Poetry Friday}

in solitary
grunts and barks speak
leave me alone

recent discovery
mating season

1 call - come hither

once endangered
now vulnerable
may there be hope

keep on bleating
keep mating
keep growing

I'm re-continuing my study of the book Poems are Teachers How Studying Poetry Strengthen Writing in All Genres by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater.   Each week I will let you know the technique of the week I've played with and a thought or two about the process.  

"Current news stories might make us angry or sad or joyful, and writing gives us a way to give our feelings and reactions form."  Amy Ludwig Vanderwater

This week was Respond to Current News and I knew right away I was going to have to read some news because it doesn't help my emotions so I often ignore it.  I opened up my NY Times app that Pam Allyn recommended as her favorite and began scrolling down the list of today's articles.  I keep scrolling until I found, Decoding Panda's Come Hither Calls.

As I read the article, I started jotting words used in the article.  I then used my dictionary app to find other words for that word meaning.  Then I began drafting my poem and found I needed to do a little research on the levels of extinction.  I did worry I was giving an account of the information and not sharing a reaction.  I tried to work in my reaction at the end.

      Thank you Erin at The Water's Edge for hosting Poetry Friday this week.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Shawn Loves Sharks by Curtis Manley

Shawn Loves Sharks by Curtis Manley and illustrated by Tracy Subisak reminds me of many children I've had over the years obsessed with a topic.  They are truly experts about their passion.  Shawn is an expert on sharks and can't wait for the predator project selection day.  As you can guess, Shawn does not get sharks and gets really upset when another student in class does.  He gets seals and is quite distraught because sharks eat seals.  The shark and seal topic carries over to a game of chase on the playground even with roles reversed because Shawn use to chase everyone around being a shark.  I love that Shawn reads and as he learns he changes his mind about seals.  He learns how seals would get away from sharks and uses some of these tactics on the playground.  In the end, Shawn learns to love two things and sometimes we have students who need this too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Poor Louie by Tony Fucile

Poor Louie by Tony Fucile is another dog story I explored this weekend from my school library.  As I read the story I kept connecting in our yearly days of marriage with just us and one dog.  The three of us did everything together and then things started to change a bit when a baby was on the way.  As Louie watches new things arrive to his home he realizes he may not be quite prepared for this.  He begins to think there's going to be two new things coming home.  As a reader, I could feel Louie's uneasy feelings through the illustrations.  They are carefully crafted to support this story.  I so desperately want to share the ending of this story but it was a huge surprise to me and one I didn't predict.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

I Wish I Had... {Slice of Life}

Thank goodness there's a break in my evening class.  I'm ready for short walk down the hallway/lobby area and my mind is preoccupied with a long day of teaching, to dos, daughter things, and telling myself to take a little breath.  As I enter the hallway/lobby area, a young teenage girl starts looking at me and is standing up while leaning against a chair.  I'm not even sure she is talking to me at first because I'm not very present.  Then I realize she is talking to me and I redirect my mind towards her as I keep walking.  "You are pretty."  "Oh, thank you."  "And so thin."  I just smile.  I continue walking and return to class at the end of the break. 

I reflect about this conversation on the drive home with random thoughts crashing together; Did she really say I was pretty?  I don't remember the last time someone said I was pretty.  I'm a few decades older than her.  I wish she hadn't said I was thin.  It was really kind of her to compliment me.  It did make me smile to think that someone else, a younger girl thought I was pretty when I'm old enough to be her mother.

I wish I had been more present.  I wish I had stopped and told her thank you, that was very kind of you.  I'd also tell her, I hope you have a good day because you made mine better.  

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Franki by Mary Sullivan

I love dog stories and I met Franki in my school library.  Franki is written and illustrated by Mary Sullivan.  The text is simple and arranged in a text bubble format.  I found myself wanting to find a class of kindergarteners to read this book to.  Kindergarteners will be so excited to read the word no frequently as Franki adjusts to his new home with another dog, Nico.  Nico doesn't really like to share and Franki thinks everything is his.  All ages will enjoy the ending where Franki finds a solution for claiming his own items and how Nico decides to be a bit like Franki.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

I AM A WARRIOR GODDESS and how I used it in class

This public library book is overdue.  I must return it for others to enjoy and I must personally buy it.  I first shared this title on my 10 for 10 Picture Book Event - Books to Help with Worry.  After reading it with students and using it to foster thinking I wanted to share more about it here.  

I'M A WARRIOR GODDESS by Jennifer Adams and Illustrated by Carme Lemniscates is warm and soft and empowering!  The little girl greets different aspects of  nature each morning to start her day and reads to train her brain.  Next she fills her heart with kindness, "the most powerful weapon there is."  The following pages show scenarios where the little girl is demonstrating an affirmation in action.  She is grateful when she receives flowers and generous when she shares them with someone else.  I love the page when she's painting bold shapes with a paint brush and views herself as fierce.  At the end of her day, she says goodnight to different aspects of nature before going to sleep.  

After reading this text and illustrating our own self portraits, I had my students add their own affirmation.  I love this addition to a project I've done each year.  The students thoughts were sincere and I think they will be helpful on a sad or frustrate day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Well Wishes {Slice of Life}

It's Saturday morning and I make a trip to Target.  My list is very focused and I set a goal to remain focused.  Remaining focused at Target for me means no aisle wandering and no checking in on my favorite sections.  This particular day I met my goal and head to the checkout in hopes of a speedy cashier.  I unload my basket; Vics vapor rub, Sudafed, Ricola cough drop one, Ricola cough drop two, and Cold-eeze.  I look up and realize my cashier's hands are tied with the customer in front of me and I have to wait longer than I had intended.  The customer behind me and I start to chit chat about wishing this store had self check out and probably the hold up in front of us.  Finally, my checkout takes place and as I'm getting ready to walk away the customer behind me says, "I hope someone feels better soon".  She caught me off guard.  I never noticed she was looking at my checkout items.  I turned around and said, "thanks - they are for me."

As I walked to my car that day I started feeling better.  A stranger had noticed someone wasn't feeling well and sent wishes to whoever that was.  It was nice to be noticed.  It was nice to hear unsolicited kind words.  It was nice to smile while feeling down right miserable.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Thinking Together 9 Beliefs for Building a Math Community {Professional Read}

Thinking Together 9 Beliefs for Building a Mathematical Community by Rozlynn Dance and Tessa Kaplan is a book worth having to start a new school year with and one to revisit during the school year.  It's an easy book to read and won't take long if you are feeling the back to school crunch or starting right now, like many of us in Central Ohio.  

I love their child centered belief statements.  They are worded in kid friendly language and get to the core of classroom community for math workshop;  Good mathematicians are brave and try new things and it's not just about the answer are two I can't wait to focus on and believe all of our students need help with.  Questions from the teacher helps us grow and learn is one I don't know if I've really spent time on in the past and realize it's an important belief to help build their confidence and chase worries away.  

Nudges I found to try within my own work

- read the book,Chrysthanemum - discuss disrespectful treatment more in-depth
- model and post sentence stems to help develop language
-use their math attitude survey p39
-instead of thumbs down for disagreeing, tap your brain
-use this sentence stem to help students to help students explain their exact steps..."First I _____, next I ______, then I ______.
-teach the difference between a question and a statement

Quotes that are sticking with me
"Simply put - the process is more important than the product."

"We let our students know that disagreements are not a negative thing but something wonderful, as they show that we are thinking deeply about math, allowing our brains to grow stronger."

"The structures we set up in our classroom and the community we build can support our students as they persevere through productive struggle, encouraging them to continue to persist when things get tough."

Friday, August 10, 2018

Books to Help with Worry {#pb10for10}

Today is my last day of summer and I always find myself reflecting.  There are waves, hills, valleys, bumps, and seasons in life and education isn't exempted.  The beginning of the school year means new friends, faces, bodies, and minds coming together to form a community to make learning possible.  During the past year I've found myself reading more personally and professionally about mindset, play, goals, emotions, emotion dysregulation, and mental health.  Maybe I was young and naive, 1993 was my first year teaching and things in general seemed easier for everyone.  As I keep reading and thinking about everything just mentioned I think worries is something we need to explore more with our students.  I think they need far more guidance in experiencing and managing worries.  I truly wish I could take this list of books and go into high school classrooms.  They are beautifully illustrated and just tugged at my heart as an adult reader.  Enjoy!

Dear Cathy, 

I didn't follow our original intention of sharing my nearest and dearest picture books.  I heard a calling and followed a dream...I know you'll understand.

Your friend,

by Julie Kraals

Worries are heavy things and Whimsy shows us ignoring them doesn't help and offers guidance for breaking them in smaller pieces to make them manageable.

by Tom Percival

Ruby is very happy until one day she discovers a worry and it continues to grow.  This is very uncomfortable for her and one day she discovers talking about it makes it shrink.  Sweet, sweet, story.

by Deborah Sosin

Charlotte lives in a busy world of noise.  Charlotte guides the reader to find a quiet place where your breathing in and out and how you can keep this feeling inside you as you live within a world of noise.  I think it's important to allow for breaks and quiet.

by Lauren Rubinstein

A beautiful book guiding the reader to acknowledge and learn to identify your feelings in practical kid like ways - "Is it sharp like stepping on stones with bare feet? Or smooth like ice cream - your favorite treat?

by John Frank

It is also Poetry Friday friends.  Helping others is a great thing to do and it can help with worries.  This book touches on lots of things for mental health strategies; music, pets, friends, self care, exercise, nature, reading, writing, building, and creating. 

by Lemniscates

A beautiful book guiding the reader to listen for things they don't often hear.  My daughter shared the other day she was listening for the quiet-est thing.  What would that be for you?

by Jennifer Adams

Guidance for tackling your day and affirmations for how you can help others and tackle your day.

Happiness with Four Pebbles
by Thich Nhat Hanh

This is a small picture book and shares a pebble meditation practice that is simple and can be done anywhere.  The pebbles represent flower, mountain, water, and space.  I think it would wonderful to go on a hike or bring pebbles in and have students select their own pebbles for the year.

by Heather Krantz

Ideas and tips for using bubbles to help regulate our thinking and breathing.  Who doesn't enjoy spending time with bubbles.

By Rana DiOrio

Such beautiful example of what being present isn't and then the simple things we can do as individuals that it is.  I had forgotten this wisdom - "yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift - that's why we call it the present!"  This book is part of Little Pickle Stories, I think other titles are worth checking out!

#pb10for10 Nuts and Bolts

Happy 10 for 10 Picture Books Day !

Here are the nuts and bolts for joining and sharing picture books today.

  1. Grab a Badge (I like to select the image and save image as...)
  2. Join the #pb10for10 Google Community
  3. Choose Your Favorites:  All you need to do is choose ten picture books you cannot live without for whatever reason.  In the first days of this event, everyone shared their ten very favorite titles.  This still works.  You will notice, however, that many past participants choose some type of theme to determine their selections.  We'll leave this up to you.
  4. Narrow Your List to Ten:  It isn't easy, is it?  We've seen some crafty ways to get around that number, but really ten is plenty. 
  5. Write Your August 10th Post:  Write a post about the ten books you cannot live without.  Share your post on August 10th and link it to the Picture Book 10 for 10 Community.  
  6. No Blog?  No Problem:  If you don't have a blog, this might be the perfect time to start one --- or now with the Google Community it is quite easy to just post your favorites directly into the community without a blog.  We will also be tweeting from the #pb10for10 hashtag.
  7. Comment:  On August 10th (and maybe for a week --- there are a lot of posts) take some time to read posts from other participants.  Please comment on at least three.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Kids 1st From Day 1 {Professional Read}

I've had a lot of first days of teaching.  I was blessed to get my first classroom in August 1993.  When I first heard about Kids 1st from Day 1, I was excited for new teachers.  I love the work Kristine Mraz is putting together and really enjoyed her first book with Christine Hertz.  I didn't know if I needed it.  I love professionally reading and have an enormous stack of to be read books. I kept seeing this book on social media with positive reviews and couldn't resist when I had a gift card come my way at the end of the school year.  I began reading it last week and at first I didn't know if I needed it.  I was reading about classroom set up and I loved what they said but honestly I didn't feel anything new.  I have always had live  plants on each table and around the room and highly support this suggestion from Kristine and Christine.  I'm a reader who doesn't like to abandon books and believes there's always a nugget for me if I keep going.

I am so thrilled I did!  I found this book to have something old, something new, and naming things I've done that might not quite be the current buzz word tot he masses of educators.  For example, mini lessons have different structures; direct instruction, story telling, and inquiry.  I've felt in the past on the days I might tell a story or ask a question I may not have been "teaching" to someone walking in. I also found group formats during workshop described in concrete ways to help me articulate my thinking; guided reading, strategy group, shared experience, and independent coaching.  Conferring is one of my favorite things to do in my day and again there are different formats; teaching, goal-setting, and coaching. 

The chapter on emotional development stretched my thinking.  I found myself nodding my head and saying, yes we do that to prevent this... or that makes so much sense.  

Nudges I found to try within my own work

- add brain break cards to our daily schedule
- look at my plans and include structured activities AND unstructured activities
- movement, movement, movement in our day
- visualize and role play more
- p114 use their checklist for observing children's progress during a unit

Quotes that are sticking with me

"Community building, like all teaching, is slow and steady, but so is the act of growing a compassionate and critical thinker."

"Ryan Dunn, math coach extraordinaire, taught us that everything we teach has a social goal, language goal, and content goal, and we cannot just plan for one."

"We know the job is messy, the days are long, but our undertaking couldn't be any more timely or important."

Please, please, please read p94 a section called, Upstairs Brains, Downstairs Brains, and the Science of Challenging Behaviors - good for everyone

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Lizzie Murphy Queen of the Diamond {Poetry Friday}

Lizzie Murphy
Queen of the Diamond

Why did you want to play baseball in 1900?
Best form of entertainment

How did you get started?
I played ball with my dad and brother

What was your first game experience?
I was bat girl at 8 years old

How did you get to play?
My brothers team forgot a team ball

So what?
I had one and I negotiated playing time

Did you ever play on a team officially?
Two teams at 15 years old

Were you still playing with only boys?

Did your parents approve?
No, my mother tried to talk me out of it

Why didn't that work?
I couldn't sit and watch the game

Did you play professionally?
Yes, for 17 years

Was it easy?
No, at first they wouldn't pay me

Did that change?
Yes, I advocated for myself
Five dollars a game, same as the men

What were your major accomplishments?
first woman to play major league exhibition game
played on National and American all star teams

I'm continuing my study of the book Poems are Teachers How Studying Poetry Strengthen Writing in All Genres by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater.   Each week I will let you know the technique of the week I've played with and a thought or two about the process.  

"..we can also make something new from days gone by."   Amy Ludwig Vanderwater

This week was Listen to History and I knew right away I wanted to find a softball picture book in our house and try to make something new from it.  Queen of the Diamond The Lizzie Murphy Story by Emily Arnold McCully is the one I could easily find in my teenagers bedrooms.  I reread this picture and was instantly reminded how important history is to show us growth, strength, and risk taking individuals that made a difference for us today.

As I read this picture book I found myself collecting short phrases to chronically tell Lizzie's story.  However Amy's Try It prompts lists questions to spark some felling and emotion about the history.  I decided to use the prompt, If you could bring someone from this time period to life, what would you ask?

Thank you Mary Lee at A Year of Reading for hosting Poetry Friday this week.