Saturday, August 25, 2007


Okay, so I am going to vent a little...I just get tired sometimes of my friends (who are not educators) giving me crap for doing my work on the weekend. I graded papers last night at a friend's house, while playing Cranium (which my team won, because I helped you know what an aglet is? apparently, it's crazy that I know...let's just say Cranium is my game and I love it). More than 3 people gave me slack for grading my papers on a Friday night...I ask you, other educators, when do you do your work?

I sometimes get frustrated when I see the amount of work that my friends often do not have to take home, but at the same time...wouldn't they rather that I spend my time AT school with the kids and leave the grading for home? I could grade papers while kids are reading, but then who would know what they are thinking while they read?

Yes, I know teaching can appear to be easy at times, but I signed on for the job and love what I do...Yes, there are times that I don't like the amount of outside work there is and not many people thank me for doing what I do, but sometimes I just wish instead of harping on me for grading my papers, they would say, "Can I help?" and just leave it at that.

Thank you to all who read this and just let me get my venting out. By the way...if you are a facebook member...look me up (I just put up new pics of my nephew).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Humbling Thoughts

I always wonder what the teachers are thinking of my students that I had last year that they are starting new classes with...what idiosyncrasies did I help place that will come back up? One of the third grade teachers told me that she had heard about our apology of action already.

Which brings me to my blogging for today...I have three students who are labeled MI. To be honest, I'm not sure how much to expect this year. During morning meeting, I told the class that they were going to have to write down ways that they hurt people or ways people hurt them. One of my MI students said, "Do you mean on the inside or the outside?"

I don't know about you...but that was way beyond anything I had thought. People do hurt us on the inside AND the outside and he was able to vocalize that for everyone...I am so excited to create our apology of action chart and he was one who was able to really push the conversation and hopefully, comments deeper. Just when I don't expect anything, God shows up!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


As I'm filling in my teacher lesson plan book for the upcoming week, the openess of the pages are overwhelming today. I sit and look at them and just wonder what to put in the blocks...where to begin and what to do...I'm just praying that I'll find something to fill the day with something that's productive and beneficial for the class.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

And it's begun...

Okay, three days down and 177 to go...I'm excited about the start and especially even being able to BEGIN the year wih a better understanding of reading workshop. However, at times, I feel like I'm behind. I see other teachers doing things with stories already, but yet I know that I need to be able to set up procedures and expectations for a workshop before most of the great learning will be occurring.

I read Bad Day at Riverbend on Thursday and it was neat to hear comments being made by students and how they are already strong readers and doing great thinking. On Friday, one of the girls wanted to hear the story again...through this, one boy made a comment and asked what horizon meant. I pointed out how wonderful it was that he was paying attention to words and especially words he didn't know. This allowed my class to being asking...what's a posse, what's flesh...I loved it! We also, on Friday, drew one of our favorite reading memories and this allowed me to share with the class how we will be setting our workshop to make it just like their reading memories.

Looking forward to the great learning that will take place, but still a little overwhelmed with proceeding with a reading curriculum where I am not using the basal every week...updates will occur.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ready or Not - Here I Come

So for the past week, (I said I would stay out...but see what happened?) I've been in my room, trying to get it ready. I do feel some comfort in knowing that I can't have it ALL ready because the class will create a lot of charts and push the curriculum, but am hoping that it feels comfortable, warm, and inviting. So many people are doing lists these days on their blogs, so I'm jumping on board :)

New things I am doing in my classroom
  1. using songbooks (thanks to Barb and Cheryl for their giving)
  2. creating reader's notebooks
  3. using a word family notebook
  4. pulling more from literature than the basal
  5. apology of action chart rather than pulling beehives
  6. having crates at each group table to store reader's bins
  7. reader's bins (hopefully, if I get the money from our PTO)
  8. songbook and poem binders (once again, money from PTO)
  9. spelling inventories to assess where each child is and hopefully help group students better to work on the concepts THEY need
  10. ABC writing unit - btw, if anyone has any print resources, I'd love to see copies and ideas
  11. Want to start a group that meets monthly to discuss reading workshop (and writing of course too)

While I am excited, I know I am venturing into new territory...I'm going to take it one day at a time and blog through the adventure. I'm ready to see how using Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop together for a whole year makes a huge difference.

Oh, and on a side note, I'm also training for a mini-marathon in Indy in May of 2008...I just ran for the first time (yesterday) four miles! This will be a huge accomplishment for me...and a huge task.

Happy beginning of the year to everyone!