Tuesday, May 14, 2013

An Oldie, but a Goodie

This is a post that I wrote years ago from another blog.... I copied and pasted. It's old...but it's still good! :) 

My job as a consultant is amazing. It is a job that I firmly believe FOUND ME! I thought long and hard before leaving the classroom and had no idea that I would be impacting classrooms other than my own as a JOB.  If you HAD told me this would happen however, I would have taken pictures and video of everything I did in my classroom.  But alas, I do not have video and not nearly all the pictures I need of things that worked in my classroom.  The beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, I was looking for a classroom that would allow me to come in and TAPE my teaching of lessons that work for beginning a Writer’s Workshop.  I found that teacher and that classroom in Blooming Grove ISD in Texas.  The following BLOG post is the first of many as I chronicled the writing that happened during those “taping sessions” in Becky Lamb’s 1st Grade classroom.  Read on…
Wow! What a great morning we just had in Blooming Grove with some amazing writers. Poor Becky had no voice and when I got there she was whispering to the kids at the carpet reviewing sight words and they were whispering back. That calm mood helped us with our first day of kid writing I’M SURE of it!
Remember… I have already done Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin pie with this group. They have watched me tell/write my own stories and Becky has done the same for a week. They have also heard their friends tell stories and draw the pictures. Today… they all got their own paper to write their own story. No folders yet, just an individual piece of paper…folders will come tomorrow.
We set up some basic rules to help the day be successful:
1) Stay in your seat to write.
2) Do what you know writers do.
3) When you are finished, get your reading tub.
We also did rehearsal for writing… I had all of them think of their idea and talk about their beginning/middle/end pictures before I sent them to their seats to work. The enthusiasm and confidence were there! They did so great. I walked around and praised them for their pictures.. and their hard work. I took notes when I could. I had a few kids who said “how do you spell…” and I said “Do what you know writers do” and that was all I had to say. I had kids who got up to come and show me their work and I said “Stay in your seat to write” and they went back to their desks. I had three kids still writing when the time was up, they will be able to see/read those stories and work on them again tomorrow… it was a great day!
I will clear up one thing that I want you to remember on this first day when you write this way in your own classrooms- we are not “fixing” writing on this day. EVERYTHING that they write is going to be perfect for the time being.  We need them to build their personal confidence on this day. We have the whole year to make them better writers- let’s be sure that we get them to love and feel good about writing first!
I did the Brag Board with them today.. I praised E. He was the first one done and he got his reading tub without needing a reminder! I praised A. she asked me how to spell McDonald’s and I just said “do what writers do” and she wrote.. mkdonlds. Pretty good if you ask me! I also praised S. She is an ELL. She was writing a story about her dog- I learned the word for dog in Spanish today- perro. We wrote that word together. I also learned that she does not have a sound/letter link in Spanish so I will stop making a link to Spanish names of letters for her- we will focus on English.
Next time we write I need to work on the use of crayons. We had kids coloring their pictures rather than writing their words. I didn’t stress over it today, but next time we write, we will allow crayons- AFTER all their words are written!
I love being back in the classroom and having a chance to work with these writers and I am already looking forward to my next trip to Blooming Grove.  
I'll post another OLDIE but GOODIE soon.


Friday, May 3, 2013

A New Linky

I found a new Linky.

Thanks to I Heart Recess (is that not the BEST blog name?)for this goal setting LINKY.

It is fun to set goals. Now I hope she doesn't make a LINKY where you have to say if you MET your goals! That would not be any fun!

Personal: I am the kind of girl that devours a good book. I won't put it down! But I can go for weeks in between books! My goal is to go from one to another this month. It will be my only month to have time to read for fun- June will bring more Aggie Textbooks my way!

Health: Some people get a gene that makes them LOVE the gym- I did not get such gene! I hate the gym. The only time I was successful there was when I paid the big bucks for a personal trainer.  She held me accountable and she told me what to do and I did it. It was perfect. I'm going- I have a trip to the Bahamas in June- I NEED to go to the gym! I just don't WANT to go! (stomp my foot)

Blogging: I kind of fell off the wagon- meaning- I don't post much these days. I have stopped thinking of blogging tidbits to share. If it weren't for this LINKY, I wouldn't be on tonight either. So I am going to start it up again. It's a goal! 

School: The most important stuff at work I find myself procrastinating. I need to stop that! I also keep making new projects for myself, and yes, the Guided Reading website did need a complete overhaul- that was so far down on the list of things to do, but I let it be the top- and for TWO DAYS this week! Ug! 

Fun: Seriously...there is just not enough time in the day for fun! Reading will be fun. I have fun every weekend on the boat. I just don't have time to make another goal out of it!  

Bring it May! I'm ready for you! What are your goals?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Currently

Yay! A night to do my May Currently.  Jeff (my husband) just left for West Marine. Lord help us that he doesn't spend all the money that just came in his paycheck! But he's gone and that means time home alone to finally post my Currently.  

Listening: Funny how much I hate these shows (Around the Horn is one example). How much is there to say about sports? Really? They just talk in circles. It would be like a show with experts talking about shopping! But, when he is deployed. I have actually put it on in the background while I do stuff 'cause it makes me feel like he is home. Is that silly? It's probably silly. Oh well- it's the truth from an Army wife. 
Loving: Spring means summer is coming and if you own a boat- you live for the summer! I love the longer days and the signing birds. I love the flowers that are coming up in my neighbors yards. Notice I did not say mine? A gardener I am NOT! 
Thinking:  Is the laundry STILL considered clean if you washed/dried it on Saturday, but it is still in a basket on the couch on Thursday? Why do I hate the folding so much? I LOVE washing and drying. It's always the folding and the putting away.  
Wanting: Jeff just left so that makes dinner plans easier. What do I want? What can I eat that he doesn't like to eat? I think it is a white pasta sauce night! Mmmmmmm! 
Needing: Seriously... I feel like I am standing on the tracks and a freight train is coming my way! There is so much to DO but still so much to figure OUT that I can't start! Holy cow! Breathe Melissa! Breathe! 
Summer Bucket List: I miss the days of summers OFF! Oh man I'd love that! 

Thank you to Oh Boy 4th Grade for this fun LINKY.