Monday, October 29, 2007

Milk DUD!

Okay, since this blog is about me becoming myself...I am posting a more personal note. Just to get it out of my head and be done with it. For those who don't me...over the past two years I have lost a bit of weight. I'm able to shop in different stores and wear sizes I never thought I'd buy. I actually even feel pretty more days than not when I look in the mirror.

Sunday, my friends had a costume party...I looked on the net and came up with a "cloudy with a chance of showers" costume. I bought a gray night gown...instead of blue scrubs. The night gown ended up being too see through, so I decided just to do black pants and a black shirt. I attached the clouds onto my body and grabbed my water bottle to spray for the showers part. As I pulled up into the of the guys got out of his truck and said, "Hey, Cathy, are you a cow?"

How is it that one comment can plummet how I feel about myself? I ended up taking off the clouds, threw them away, and basically moped for a while...I couldn't get the comment out of my head. Just when I think I am winning the battle on my self-image, one comment throws me for a loop. I know he didn't mean anything about my body...he is a wonderful guy and later even asked if I've lost more weight...I just mentally put myself back into the body that I used to be and forgot to see all of the changes that have happened.

Our church is doing a seminar on eating disorder or disordered eating next week. I am really excited to go. I know I don't always have a healthy view on food and I'm excited to see what kinds of changes occur through it...

Thanks to all who read this...this blog is one for me that allows me to sometimes just share what's on my heart. I've been so blessed by all of you who read and leave me comments...thanks for all the ideas and just knowing that there are others out there that hear me.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fall Break

So I am headed to Indy to visit my sister and see our grandpa and to celebrate fall break! I am so excited...It'll be nice to have a break. I slept in this morning and just enjoyed taking my time getting ready. I'll be sure to post my after thoughts...I'm hoping to read an article sent to me by a blogging friend (once I learn how to link, I'll start giving credit to people) and finish my Beth Moore Bible study over Daniel...amazing by the way...and begin planning my next unit for reading.

Have a great day all!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Down in the dumps

Why is it that we feel discouraged? I know there are lots of teachers around who as they've talked...they are just discouraged. I feel the same way today with their writing. I feel like I'm barely treading water with their small moment stories...I don't know if it's I am just not working hard enough or if right now our reading and writing workshops are at the opposite spectrum, non-fiction and small moments, respectively...and if that's causing it.

Ways that I'm encouraged: today I read a new Chris Van Allsburg book and they were able to predict, use their schema that they knew about Chris and apply it to the new book, and draw a conclusion (even though they don't know the language). One of my struggling readers told me that quack and the word Mack from one of our songs rhyme because they have the same ending...being observant. Another one of my boys drew a picture about Egyptian dogs and mummies for another reader who is studying Egypt right now...they are just so thoughtful.

I'll think more on the positive and save the negative...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I was reading in one of my professional books and a concept about just because they use the vocabulary does not mean they understand it came to light today. Case and point.
  • T - I learned that a biography is a non-fiction book about a person.
  • Kid 1 - Did you have a text to self?
  • T - no
  • me - T, did you have any connections?
  • T - no
  • Kid 2 - Did you have a text to world?
  • T - no
  • Kid 3 - Did you have a text to text?
  • T - no
  • me - Class, when someone says they didn't have any connections, then they didn't have ANY connections.
  • Class - ohhhhhhhhhh

Thankfully, the next student that shared was asked, Did you have any connections? She shared her connection and then all of the questions were asked again of connections...ugh...we'll revisit connections later. Part of this is my fault because I jumped over to reading non-fiction because so many of kids were reading it and I wanted to give them the most tools available for it and we didn't spend enough time on connections. We'll revisit that AFTER we do non-fiction and then images...oh well.


Okay, so I know this is no one's fault...we had a guest teacher in gym today...due to our clocks all being off throughout the whole building (another pet peeve and another issue for another day), I was running just a little kids don't understand quotation marks. Took them to the small teacher...walk through the cafeteria to take them to the big gym...oh, we're going to go outside. Okay, no problem. Hey, ML, A is not with problem, kids, I'll go back and get him. He's not in the small gym, not in the classroom. He's down the hall with 2 other girls from our room who thought gym was outside. Thank goodness they stayed together (I praised them for that). Anyway, my 40 minute prep has now turned into 20 minutes...ugh! And what am I doing? Blogging.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Management Help Wanted

In our reading workshop time, this is my breakdown of the time:
  • Focus lesson (with read aloud)
  • Independent reading time (with me conferencing)
  • Writing in notebook
  • Cleaning up to go to sharing
  • Sharing

My questions are for others:

  1. When do you have students meet with their reading partners? I have established partners, but not sure when they should be meeting...
  2. When they are getting ready for sharing, how do I get them from their book nooks to our sharing circle without losing the feel of the workshop?
  3. What are other possibilities for sharing other than just sharing what they have learned about themselves as readers...lessons range from NF facts they learned, how to solve a tricky word, what a series is and how to identify it, and other lessons I have taught them in their conference. They also respond to each other in the group and ask each speaker questions...Are there other ways that they can be sharing?
  4. How long do I have them write in their notebooks? And what do they do when they are finished? Currently, I just have them reading...

Thanks everyone for your input in advance!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Your favorite touchstone...

As I read others' blogs, I say to myself...why aren't there any new posts...duh...I wonder if anyone says that about mine.

Anyways, just looking for new books to share with my class. Do you have a favorite text you like to use to teach connections in reading workshop or small moments in the writing workshop? I like using Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe (spelling of last name is not right I'm thinking, but I'm trying to do this in a hurry. I also like using Gooney Bird Greene to teach sensory images...

Anyone else?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I am finally beginning a deeper level of focus lessons. We have talked about how stories remind us of things from our own life. Today, we relooked at our connections from Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe and talked about which ones were helpful in making meaning and which ones were "shallow" connections. They were kinda getting it, so I set them out for their own my first conference, we talked about how you need to know what in the text helped you make the connection (strike one). In the second conference, we talked about how the connection needs to help you understand the story in a more meaningful way, just having the cat sit on a plate is not a connection (strike two), and in my third conference, he didn't have any connections whatsoever (strike three).

During sharing (which, Ruth, I write down their comments in my Becoming journal to keep track of where I'm going to go with lessons and future ideas and to see their growth), one of the last speakers said, I made two connections in my book. Could there be a light at the end of this tunnel? She said, "a monkey and max." When probed by the kids (whew, at least there was this glimmer), she explained a little more...she can sound like a monkey and she has a dog, Max. Well, I guess there's always tomorrow!

Any ideas for great books that your children were able to make deep, meaningful, text-to-self connections? I am going to try Today I Feel Silly tomorrow.