Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Sitting, Waiting, Sunsets {Slice of Life}

I arrive late and yet on time because the team arrived late so the game has just started.  I chat with a couple of friends on my way to our side of the field.  I pull up my chair next to a friend who I was happy to see with the perfect view of first base.  I watch the game and wait.  My girl didn't start.  No worries.  I wait some more.  The game gets exciting.  We come from behind and I'm still waiting.  No worries she played a full game last night.  I chase away some worry thoughts about why and give in to sitting and waiting the whole game when number 19 walks out; top or bottom of the sixth.  I decide to take some photos when the sunset changes becoming a perfect backdrop.  Softball forces me to sit and wait.  Today reminded me why - when we sit and wait I take time to notice simple, natural things.  The yellow and orange surrounded by blue - chasing away gray skies.  It's a busy time of year in our schools and it's easy to find the gray moments overwhelming.  I'm going to try and sit a bit more, wait a bit more with students and without to find the sunsets or sunrises that make the work of each day rewarding.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.

Monday, April 8, 2019

I Can Only Draw Worms {Math Monday}

I Can Only Draw Worms by Will Mabbitt made me laugh and smile.  I initially thought it was perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  I was a little bit on the fence for second grade because the text is simple, the drawings are simple, there's a bit of math and a bit of writing thinking.  Nothing was strongly swaying me to purchase this book until my friend read it and belly laughed through the whole book.  I then knew this book was something for any grade.  We need to laugh more.

The book begins as a counting book; adding a worm each page or two.  Along the way the writer begins to write little stories about each worm.  The little stories are some far out ideas for worms.  Before we meet worm eight there's a dreadful accident.  We now have two half worms!  Here's a bit more math in this funny book about a writer who can only draw worms.

The dedication is at the end of the book and is perfect for anyone who enjoys math or not.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Thank Goodness for Bob by Matthew Morgan {Mental Wellness}

The first two page spread sets the tone for this important book.  "Max worried a lot.  Unlike his dog, Bob, who didn't worry at all."  The reader then learns about different worries Max has.  One worry made me chuckle - Max is standing next to a pool with his bathing suit on worried he isn't wearing enough clothes.  I think the pool can be a worrisome spot for many people.  Max's worry gather and gather until he doesn't feel right.  Unfortunately, Max isn't comfortable talking to anyone.  Then one day he begins talking to Bob and the reader finds out different ways worries can appear once we say them out loud.  Some are silly, small, and disappear.  Max doesn't worry as much and this might be the most important sentence - (we all worry, after all - it's natural)

"Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act." (mental health.gov) I hope you find this post helpful in supporting mental wellness. "Wellness is an approach to preventing illness and prolonging life as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases." (dictionary.com)  Let's be proactive in and out of our classrooms.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Stardust by Jeanne Willis

Stardust by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Briony May Smith is a sweet story.  A little girl wants to be a star and tries to do things just right.  She has a sister always one step ahead.  Her sister finds lost things, knits perfectly, and wins a costume contest.  This little girl is quite sad and goes to sit in a field at night making a wish to be a star herself.  Her Granddad shares a story that starts with once upon a time.  Once upon a time the sky was dark and Granddad shares a charming story guiding his granddaughter to realize everyone is made of stardust and shines in their own way.   Siblings can feel overshadowed and this book will help reinforce we all shine in different ways.  Thank you Candlewick Press for the sneak peak and copy to add to our classroom library.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A Radiating Return {Slice of Life}

Ah, the first day back from a long vacation is always so nice.  The room just radiates with happiness. There's an excitement in the air as everyone reconnects.  We gather for morning meeting and part of this rhythm is the opportunity to share anything with our community.  Usually it's about 4 - 6 kids each day of the week except for days we return from a break.  Everyone gets to share after a long break and today that decision was confirmed when hands shot up really quickly with just the mention, "Who has something to share?  Students took turns sharing one idea to our community; ears pierced, visiting grandparents, a cruise, an island, six states to get to Florida, a hot spring, a playdate.  The ideas shared were grand and also from staycations.  I record their ideas always looking for ways to connect and foster relationships and writing ideas.  Today my heart tugged the most when W shared, "I went to a bookstore."  

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.  

Monday, April 1, 2019

Shuffleboard Becomes a Math Warm Up {Math Monday}

I love discovering #mathinmyworld opportunities to share with our students and I've let this idea get put on the back burner for a bit of time.  While playing several games of shuffleboard and doing lots of mental math as the score keeper I decided I not only had an example of math in my world - I had a math warm up activity.  Today I shared what shuffleboard was, showed a picture of the court, explained how to play and got really excited about the force  and motion involved, and then I explained the scoring.  I gave the students partners to work with and asked them to figure out how many points were scored each round or turn.  I saw some puzzled looks and modeled the first two rounds with a table to help keep track of my thinking.  The room became a gentle buzz with productive math talk.  Definitely an idea to play around with more - maybe there's a new math warm up routine here.  It's easy to see writing and reading in our world - let's find, share, and discuss math in our world that's relevant and applicable for our students to wrap ideas around.