Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Engagement Thinking Highlights {Professional Learning}

Today was our first district professional learning day and our essential question the year is; How might increasing engagement impact student learning, behavior, and well being? 

A resource we used to help us think about developmentally appropriate needs for  engagement at each grade level was the Yardstick book from the Responsive Classroom organization. I got to work with colleagues to develop a rough draft for engagement for 8 and 9 year olds.


Some thinking I gathered and want to spend time with...

    Engagement by vs engagement with

    The disengaged gaze gives you permission to punt aka change course.

    

Some questions I have after thinking about engagement...

    How can we show engagement when students are not present and actively                    engaged?

    Is engagement about the process of learning?

    How is engagement observed and captured?

    Is engagement the story of learning?


Articles shared to support engagement with...

    Voice and Choice Article

    How Implementing Voice & Choice can Improve Student Engagement

    20 Student Engagement Strategies for a Captivating Classroom


    Strengthening Student Engagement: What do Students Want


A resource we used to help us think about developmentally appropriate needs for  engagement at each grade level was the Yardstick book from the Responsive Classroom organization. I got to work with colleagues to develop a rough draft for engagement for 8 and 9 year olds and I'm looking forward to exploring this topic more this year.



Monday, August 1, 2022

It's Monday! What are you reading? {#IMWAYR}

I'm currently reading
 Creating Inclusive Writing Environments in the K-12 Classroom by Angela Stockman. I just finished her two previous books Make Writing and Hacking the Writing Workshop Redesign with Making in Mind. This current read is helping me think about being culturally responsive and how we can engage while decentering ourselves. I'm about half way through it.

You might be wondering if reading books by the same author was intentional. Yes! I'm currently spending my mornings this week working with and learning from Angela at her Make Writing Studio. 

These reading choices were made with two very intentional reasons. I wanted to learn more about multimodal composition in writing workshop and I wanted to be prepared for my work this week. 

When I think about reading nonfiction, I usually think about it as wanting to learn something new. I don't know if I've ever thought about my nonfiction reading as being prepared. I wanted to understand Angela's journey with writing workshop and how she got to this current work she's engaging with. 

I think this could easily transfer to the readers in my classroom. They read books about pets they would like to get; helping them to prepare for this new adventure. 

Each of these books are additional materials in insight digitally. 

Thank you Jen at Teach Mentor Texts for co-hosting this event 
with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers.


Monday, July 18, 2022

It's Monday! What are you reading? {IMWAYR}

 I'm currently reading The Road to After by Rebekah Lowell and first heard about it on the podcast Three huggable Middle Grade Novels on Get Lit(erate) with Stephanie Affinito. I bought this book at a local book store based on her rave reviews and summary on the podcast. I'm three fourths of the way through it and and amazed constantly. The story is told in verse which does not take away from the depth of the story. My emotions are all wrapped up and around the characters. I find myself cheering them on and right now I'm waiting for a "shoe" to drop.

Yesterday I had plans to finish the book and my day got away from me. I felt sad later in the evening and kept telling myself I have tomorrow and these thoughts reinforced why I have independent reading each day in my classroom. This thinking might also help me miss an interactive read aloud or mini lesson over the independent reading time. 

I have also found myself wishing I had a reader's notebook to capture some questions as I read. I have a few lines I want to record somewhere...


"Maybe Mama, Jenna, and I 

are like my sunflower,

full of changes going on inside

that others can't see,

good changes,

even if

they might feel prickly

at first."



 Thank you Jen at Teach Mentor Texts for co-hosting this event with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

I can't rest. {SOS: Magic in a Blog}

                                                  
   
Today I'm joining SOS: Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog community and each week there is an idea to spend time with, if you wish. This week I accept the invitation to think about this quote and rest.

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."  -John Lubbock

It's evening. The temperatures are cooling and the grass is itchy. I don't remember it always being itchy. The sun has shifted and I find it hard to rest. I love to rest on the beach in direct summer sun. The backyard early evening sun isn't inviting me to rest. I look up and see the blue sky without a cloud in sight. It makes me think about being open; open to new ideas, to people, experiences, and rest. I hear three different birds. I feel the wind picking up speed and the leaves rustling. I want to rest. I can't. I can only think about my evening run ahead of me. I know if I had tried this earlier at around 3pm there would of been a nap involved embracing rest is not idleness.

Explore & consider joining the SOS: Sharing Our Stories Magic in a Blog community.



Monday, July 11, 2022

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? {#IMWAYR}

I've been thinking a lot about my own reading life, my role as a teacher who reads, and keeping track of my own reading life. I've recently been inspired by reading and learning more from Stephanie Affinito and her passion for books as a reader. Last week I read a newsletter from Stephanie and loved this line, "Tracking our reading helps us celebrate the reader we are becoming, not just the reader we've left behind..." in a piece she did called Why You Should Track Your Reading Life.

I've had an on and off relationship with Goodreads. I used Stephanie's account as a mentor and asked myself, why do I have so many shelves. She graciously answered my questions on twitter and I decided to follow her lead. I've revamped my tracking on Goodreads to read, currently, and want to read. So quick and easy. I realized Goodreads pulls together all your books from the previous years; I gave up tracking what year I read it in.

Stephanie also shares A Bookish Spreadsheet for tracking your reading life in regards to format, audience, and genre. I've been admiring her data views for a bit of time and decided to give this a try for myself. Wouldn't it be great to really make my reading life much more tangible for my students during conferring and reading workshop? 

Which leads me to what I am reading. I've been sharing this summer all of my reading for the week and have decided to pair it down to truly what I am I actively reading and some thinking about my reading. I'm hoping this will be place I can revisit and find snippets to help my readers in third grade this year more intentionally because I'm actively reading for myself.

I'm in the middle of The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak. I found it from my go to recommendation place, Reese Witherspoon's Book Club lists. I'm reading it on my kindle and I wasn't sure about it for the first twenty percent. There are two narrators and they alternate chapters. I easily caught on to the human narrator. Each time I switched to the tree narrator I had to stop and ask, "Who is talking?" It felt really odd to me. Then the plot took a turn and there's something in the past that needs explaining and I've caught on to the tree narrator as a character in the story. I'm forty percent the way through it.

I hope you'll find me on Goodreads and we can connect there during the week.

 Thank you Jen at Teach Mentor Texts for co-hosting this event with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers.

Monday, June 20, 2022

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? {IMWAYR}

 


 This week I read - 

The Precipice of Mental Health Becoming Your Own Safe Space by Achea Redd is my third book I've read by local author Achea Redd. Achea shares her own personal journey as an adult with depression and anxiety during the pandemic this time and how she navigates through it. Her voice is filled with wisdom I find helpful for myself and helpful for supporting others.

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave was a fun adult mystery read I couldn't put down.  A father disappears and lots is discovered about the truth leading up to his disappearance. I always enjoy books I find from the Reese Witherspoon book club. 

I'm currently reading - 

Live in Grace Walk in Love by Bob Goff is my morning short passage read before starting my day.

Rumi's Little Book of Life Translated by Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin is my short read before going to sleep.

Thank you Jen at Teach Mentor Texts for co-hosting this event with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers.




Thursday, June 16, 2022

Bluebirds and Letting Go {SOS: Magic in a Blog}



Today I'm joining SOS: Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog community and each week there is an idea to spend time with, if you wish. This week I accept the invitation to think about this quote and honesty.

"I realize there's something incredibly honest about trees in the winter, how they're experts at letting things go."   - Jeffrey McDaniel



I've had an exciting month watching my first pair of bluebirds build a nest in my bluebird box. She laid five eggs and all five hatched. I was able to check in on them almost daily until they got too big and could leave.

Last night I went to just listen for the babies standing next to the box and I heard nothing. Honestly, I got worried. I risked a peak and discovered they had fledged. They were gone. After a quick google search, I learned they don't come back. They take short flights in the yard and find safety nearby. The mother continues to feed them for a period of time.

I was sad. Today I sat out in the hammock and discovered the mama bird darting through the yard. She was going back and forth from a pair of trees and the bluebird feeder with mealworms. I couldn't find the babies and I'm convinced she was feeding them all day long by her actions.

I had let my babies go only to find joy today in watching the mother bustling about my yard going from tree to tree. I didn't expect to let go and find joy...I think there's something here; something bigger about life and honestly letting go.

Explore & consider joining the SOS: Sharing Our Stories Magic in a Blog community.