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.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Super Secret Agent Dotty Detective

Super Secret Agent Dotty Detective by Clara Vulliamy was my most recent chapter book read.  I love a good mystery.  I love a story where friends work together.  I love books with a layout to support transitional readers.  I recently discovered Dotty, girl detective and enjoyed every moment we spent together.  There's an announcement at school for an upcoming talent show and she feels she has nothing to share.  She makes a list of all the things she's good at; be still my writing heart.  She discovers she's a "puzzle solving whiz kid".  Dottie over hears a conversation in the cafeteria about a plan to win the talent show and she's wants to figure out how.  Together with a couple of friends Dot Detectives is born.  I love their Golden Rules; stay frosty (alert), follow that hunch, use your noodle, look for a light-bulb moment, and get proof.  Readers follow their journey, friendship, and antics while the talent show is going into production and they do solve a mystery.  

If I only looked at the thickness of this book I might not have picked it up for my second grade classroom.  Once I looked inside I was visually in love before I knew anything about the story.  This book looks like a documenter, a story teller is telling it.  There's doodles, handwriting, and typed text to tell the story.  The titles are a different day of the week helping the reader follow a timeline and done with label machine tape or fun fonts.  Some pages are on graph paper and there's plenty of white space to help the reader.  You even find Polaroid sketched photos taped with washi tape to the page.  You feel like you are reading a journal that was carefully crafted.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Chris Butterworth Trio {Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday}

Author Chris Butterworth and illustrator Lucia Gaggiotti are new to me and I am very thankful Candlewick Press sent me these copies to review.  These three books explore every day things in our lives with a fantastic pairing of blurbs, labels, and illustrations.  Each book pointed out things we use daily and fostered wondering for why or how.  They help the reader to stop and think.  They also take some complex ideas and visually offer explanation.  

One of my favorite pages in How Does My Home Work? is a two page spread showing all the different machines that need energy to make them work.  This is after a map/diagram showing wiring and pips for water in a home.  How Did That Get in my Lunchbox? shows various settings for food production; farms, dairies, and factories.  I think it's eye opening to students to think beyond going to a grocery store.  Hands down Where Did My Clothes Come From? is my favorite.  I purposefully left this book on our kitchen island one morning and both of my high school girls picked it up and kept talking to me about what they saw and read.  They each found fascinating tidbits about fabric.  My soon to be college fashion major was completely surprised to learn about silk and how it was made.  This book goes beyond sweaters and yarn.  Do you wonder where your jeans, soccer uniform, party dress, fleece jacket, and boots are made from?  I was also happy to see a blurb at the end about recycling clothes.

Each book ends with an author's note, illustrator's note, and bibliography.  I feel like Chris and Lucia are my friends because their notes help me understand why they wrote these books.  Each book has an index with specific words.  I think these will make great books to take one at a time and spend a week with.  I think it will be better to read it in smaller chunks to allow for lingering and discussion.

Thank you Alyson at Kid Lit Frenzy for hosting this weekly sharing.