Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Milestones


Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this space for me to share my corner of the world.

I am in the midst of two milestones.  I wrote my 500th post on Sunday, and four years ago next week, I wrote my first slice of life. 

Little did I know how writing about
milk jugs would change my life.  
  • I have met and connected with some wonderful people, not only in the blogosphere, but also face to to face.  
  • I understand how my students feel in the writing process.  I understand their struggles of a blank page, and I understand their celebration for having written. No greater feeling exists than to put down the pen and say, "This is a pretty good piece of writing."
  • I have become an advocate for teacher writers.  My writing instruction is so much stronger because I write. I want other teachers to understand this connection too.
  • I see the importance of story.  Our lives are made up of stories; we just need to open our eyes and our hearts and our notebooks.
  • I have become brave.  I have written about topics close to my heart.  I have shared my passion, and I have stood up for what I believe in the best interests of my students.
  • I have become a better writer. We tell our students that they become better readers and writers through practice.  Well, that works the same for adults.
  • This space has become a catalyst for opportunity.  I have presented at conferences. I have taken my writing beyond this space.  And I know many more opportunities are within my grasp.
These are just a few reflections today, but I know there are many more.

So thank you Two Writing Teachers, my readers, and my friends, for introducing me to this writing community, encouraging me to continue, and letting me share a day in my life as a teacher, a reader, and a writer.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Take-Forward #allwrite17 Reflection One

When I attend a conference I take with me several goals:  rejuvenation, learning, take-aways, and take-forwards. This week I attended the All Write Conference in Warsaw, Indiana.  I want to share with you a take-forward, or something I know I am going take and implement in my classroom this fall.

The "Lee Anns" and my new friend Chiper photobombing behind me.
I had the honor of meeting Lee Ann Spillane on day one at the opening keynote by Lester Laminack.  I first "met" Lee Ann online through blogging and Twitter, and I knew she was presenting at this conference.  She walked in and sat in the front row.  I knew by her glasses that it was her, so I introduced myself.  We went to a few sessions together that day, and she had dinner with us that night.  She is a true delight!

On day two I attended her session, "Blueprints of a Lifetime" and want to share one of two take-forwards.

Sentence Completions

On the first day of school, Lee Anne has students do sentence completions. This is a form with a sentence starter, and the students add their thoughts to complete the sentence.  That night she reads each and every one of them and adds comments, questions, and book recommendations.  This is a great getting to know you activity, but oh, so much more.

Why I Like this Idea

  1. Many of us use some type of reading survey to learn about student interests and their view of reading and writing. This is a survey but also a formative assessment.  
    • Can the student write a complete sentence?
    • Can the student use punctuation correctly?
    • Do they like to read and write?
    • What kind of books do they like?
  2. Knowing our students' interests makes it easier to recommend books.  Several of these questions give us an insight into their likes and dislikes. I can immediately make a first book recommendation right on their survey.  It sets the tone that "reading is important in this classroom, and I am here to help you find the perfect book."
  3. Responding back to students that first day tells the students that they matter.  It is the beginning of establishing those positive relationships and building a literacy community right from the start, which we all know is so important.  
Student/teacher Letters

The second day the students receive a letter from the teacher and are asked to reply.  This is an extension of the sentence completions.  

Why I Like this Idea
  1. We always do a baseline writing. In the past, it has been some type of writing prompt, and the students moan and groan.  My students come from a prompt writing environment (that's for another time, another post).  I plan to use this letter as my baseline writing sample.  Through this letter, I can receive the same data I would get from a prompt; only the students should be more engaged because they are writing and telling me about themselves.
  2. Again - data!  The letter takes the sentence completions a step forward, and we are able to see more of their writing and use it as formative assessment.
    • Can they write in paragraphs?
    • What kind of vocabulary do they have?
    • Can they use different types of sentence structures?
    • Can they clearly write and organize their thoughts and ideas?
    • Can they write with descriptive details?
    • Do they use correct grammar?
  3. I can use this writing sample to help set their first writing goals (another post coming up) and put it in their writing wallets (another post coming up). 
Lee Ann has written several blog posts about these two ideas.  If you want to read more, you can go here and here and her blog Portable Teacher. You will also find a copy of the sentence completions that Lee Ann has so graciously shared with readers.

Next post I will share with you another take-forward from Lee Ann's session:  using a blueprint to generate narrative ideas.

Hope to see you back tomorrow!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Burnout, Passion, and Purpose ~ Celebrate 2017 (sixteen)


Each week Ruth Ayres extends an invitation to share the celebrations from our week.  Why don't you join the celebration?

This week marks the half-way point in my summer vacation. (No, that is not my celebration!)  I have to admit I became a little nervous at the end of the school year.

This was my tenth year of teaching, and for the first time I experienced a new set of feelings.  I didn't have to hold back tears as I said goodbye.  I was ready for this year to be over about the same time I turned the calendar page to March. I even counted down the days.

This was unfamiliar territory for me, and the b-word began to slip into my thinking. Burnout. I made it past the five year mark, the one that seems to be the high water mark for teachers.  What was wrong with me?

The first week of the summer I was a teacher at our SPARK camp, and I had a camper tell me that her cousin told her that I was mean.

Those words stung.

Had I lost my passion for teaching?  Did I forget my purpose?

Luckily, I found my answer this week at the All Write Conference.  And that answer is a firm no.

The theme of the conference was:  Reclaiming Purpose and Passion.  I surrounded myself with teachers who share their passion.  I listened to experts in the field and frantically wrote and tweeted their bits of inspiration.  I mentally tucked ideas in my head that I can't wait to implement this fall (or in about five weeks!)  I felt that excitement of learning as a teacher and the desire to share that learning with others.

I reclaimed my purpose and passion.

Here are just a few quotes I took away. 

"We need our teaching to be deep and slow like a river.  We need to slow down for teaching to sustain the learner."

"Students need mirrors, windows, and doorways.  They need to see some piece of them in us."

"We seek communion with those who understand us best."

"Love yourself enough to stand up for what is best for children."
~ Lester Laminack

"I don't think anyone of us truly gets how important we are in the lives of students." 
~ Ruth Culham

"We need to remember the meaning of what we do."

"Our jobs get hard when we forget about our purpose."

"When teachers tell the stories of the impact they make, everyone benefits."
~ Lee Snider
Principal

"...investing in the lives of children. I can think of no better way to make the world more beautiful."
~ Ruth Ayres

Take time this summer to ignite your passion for teaching and to remember your purpose. 

Reclaim it and yes, celebrate it!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Remember the Stories ~ Celebrate 2017 (fifteen)




Each week Ruth Ayres extends an invitation to share the celebrations from our week.

I recently read an article and an obituary in our Catholic newspaper.  I didn't know the man, but here is what I learned about him.  He loved his family and friends.  He shared his deep faith with those around him.  He was a dedicated and beloved teacher.  And he was loved in return.

Because of his illness, he was able to write his own obituary. It wasn't your typical obituary which listed his survivors and his accomplishments in life. Instead, it was a letter to those he left behind.  In his words, he reminded them to "Remember the stories." 

These words have lingered with me.

This week I have been spending time with my Grandma who has Dementia. Her caregivers, my mom and aunts, are taking a much needed vacation. I sit with her, hold her loving, wrinkled hands in mine, and remember the stories.  

I know she doesn't know who I am, but I know she knows I belong to her.  Her face lights up and the tension and agitation releases in her body when she sees me.  She kisses my cheek and tells me she loves me. We sit together, and the words she remembers how to speak become our conversation. It may be just bits and pieces, but they are still her stories.

It is hard for her.

It is hard for me.  

Several times I have had to hold back the tears.  It just isn't fair.  But it is a reminder of why I write:  to remember the stories of my own life.  I am afraid I will travel down the same path, and I won't remember my stories. Writing our story is the inscription of our lives.  It is the gift we leave behind. Inscriptions may become worn, but they remain.  Just like our stories.

It is also a reminder of why it is important that we teach the power of story to our students. I wrote stories at a young age, and I had many teachers who encouraged me to write. Today, many students think of writing as something we do just at school. Many students write only for their teacher or for a standardized test.  But they have many stories to tell, with many still unwritten.  We must help them to understand the power of stories.  We must help them to write for those they love and for those who love them.

It is difficult for young students to imagine themselves as being old like the man in the obituary and like my grandma.  It is difficult for them to think about the stories they will live to tell.  Teaching our students to remember the stories (and to write them) as young children, is a simple celebration and a gift we must give them.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Better ~ #DigiLitSunday


Today I am participating in Digital Literacy Sunday with Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Techewhere we are thinking about the word "better."

Two events happened this week that are a perfect reflection for this word.

My teaching partner retired this year, and my last days of teaching with her were last week.  I have been sitting in on interviews for her replacement.  This is not an easy thing to do when you need to replace a perfect partnership.

During each interview, we hope the questions we ask become conversational, depending on the answers from each interviewee.  Although no two interviews are the same, there are two or three questions that I make a point to ask each person.  

One of those is what are some things you do to improve your teaching?  

I am one of those teachers who continuously reflect and search for ways to improve my teaching practices, and I want to work with a teacher who does the same.  I read blog posts and professional books and articles.  I attend conferences and participate on online professional development.  Settling for the status quo or relying on the phrase "we have always done it that way" does not work for me.

I just finished my tenth year of teaching, and there are still so many things I want to learn and to make better in my classroom.  And I want my teaching partner to share in this learning.

The second event was a blog post from We Are Teachers.  I, along with several of my blogging friends, were listed as Twitter accounts teachers should follow.  I am very humbled to be included on this list along with these amazing teachers.  But what I liked most was what the author of the post, Kimberly Moran, said about me:  "...obsessed with improving literacy in her classroom."

By using those words to describe me, Kimberly could not have given me a higher compliment.  She captured my drive, my passion, and my need to get better, just from my online presence.  

My summer has begun and with that come many hours and days of trying to become better.  

My students, my colleagues, and my new teaching partner deserve that.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Another Chapter - A Nonet



It's Poetry Friday, and Margaret Simon from Reflection of the Teche has the round-up.

Different times write different chapters, but all are written in my book of life.  At times, I anticipate the end of the day, wishing I could erase the choices I made, the words I said, and the actions I took.

Other days, I linger in the day, wishing it could last just a little bit longer.

But each day moves on while adding another chapter.


Awhile back, I played with writing a nonet.  A nonet is a nine line poem, with the first line having nine syllables and counts down to the last line which has one syllable.  It was one of those days when I had time to linger in the goodness of the day.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

That Time of Year - Celebrate 2017 (fourteen)



Each week Ruth Ayres extends an invitation to share the celebrations from our week. 

Four more days - I have four school days left.  It has been a long year, and I am ready for time to refuel with days in the sun, reading and writing when and where I want and taking things at my own pace.

At the end of these four days, my teaching partner will be retiring.  I taught with her my first year in fifth grade and followed her to the middle school.  It has been just the two of us for three years, and I will miss her terribly.

Pool time - My sister opened her pool this week.  This is where I spend almost every afternoon during the summer and is where my sister, my daughter and I solve all the world's educational problems.

Graduation Open Houses - My first class of 4th graders are graduating this year.  I have enjoyed watching them grow up and become such wonderful role models for my current students.  I am honored that some of them of invited me to share their important day.

It is the time of year when we look back and reflect, yet we also look forward to the days ahead.  It is the the time of year where we celebrate all we have accomplished and anticipate the celebrations to come.

Have a wonderful week and may you find many celebrations along the way!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Simple Thought ~ Celebrate 2017 (thirteen)



Each week Ruth Ayres extends an invitation to share the celebrations from our week. 

I can't believe it has been a month since I have written a blog post.  While participating in the March Slice of Life challenge, I felt like I did more slapping of words on paper than actually writing.  To some people, "slapping words" is still a form of writing.  But I want more than that.

The words have been floating around in my head, but none have made their way out.  

My page is blank.

I have been absent in my writing communities:  Slice of Life, Celebrate this Week, Poetry Friday, Spiritual Journey Thursday.  I have missed them, but it hasn't been enough to pull me out of my word drought.

Until today.

I thought about writing a celebration post.  I actually had an idea worth writing about.  After I opened my computer and found my way back to my blog, I saw I had a new comment. (I don't check my gmail account which gives me comment notifications.)  

It was a simple message.  



Ironically, Loralee has done this before. She seems to know just when I need a boost.

Take some time today to let someone know you are thinking of them.  It might just be what they need to celebrate once again.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Give Them a Pencil


Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this space for me to share my corner of the world.

Saturday morning I had the privilege of listening to Ruth Ayres present at the EdCollabGathering, a series of online PD sessions.  She talked about students who come from trauma, the significance of giving a student a pencil and the filling of a student's need.  I have heard parts of this presentation before, but hearing it again Saturday tore at my heart.

I have had students whose home lives I knew were not good.  They didn't sit down to family dinners.  They didn't have parents who tucked them in at night or saw to it that they ate a good breakfast before sending them off to school.  Sometimes, they didn't even see their parents in the morning.  They didn't understand the definition of a family or a loving relationship.

I have had students who didn't want to go home after school, dreaded the weekends, and hated Christmas break.  Some have come from abuse of all kinds.  At times I have avoided sending home behavior notices or making phone calls to parents for fear of what would happen when they arrived at home.

I knew the last thing they thought about was having a pencil.

Each day my students arrive at my door, and I am given a gift.  The gift to inspire minds, to challenge thinkers, to motivate unbelievers.

But with this gift also comes a huge responsibility.  Our students come to us and expect to learn, to be respected, and to feel safe.

And many times they need a pencil.

At the end of each day, we tell them "Goodbye! See you tomorrow!"  And we assume that we will.

Last week in our community, a five year old little boy said goodbye to his teacher when school was out.  He didn't see her the next day because he never returned.

I know evil exists in this world.  I read about it in the newspaper, and I watch it unfold on television every day.  This week evil found its way into my hometown and took the life of this little boy.

This evil was his father.

This evil one tried to smother him with a pillow, wrapped a cord around his neck, and when that didn't work, he placed his 300 pound body on top of him until he stopped breathing.  According to the newspaper, he had planned it all.

Teachers, school officials, and neighbors report abuse, but sometimes reporting seems to not be enough. When tragedy like this happens, many questions surface, and teachers go through so many "what ifs."  Guilt consumes, and blame is thrown about like candy in a parade.  But in this case, no one is to blame but the evil one.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness and preventing child abuse.  It is a time to take a step back and not only identify those needs, but to try and fill them as well.

And maybe it is time we give them a pencil.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Digital Poetry ~ #DigiLitSunday


Today I am participating in Digital Literacy Sunday with Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Techewhere we are talking about digital poetry.

Summer is almost upon us.  Time for summer activities.  Time for summer camps, with many of those being sports camps.  We have camps for football, basketball, soccer, tennis, baseball, and golf.  If a child plays a sport, then we can connect him or her with a sports camp.

For the past several years, my school district has thought outside the box and has offered an academic camp, SPARK (Super Powered Activities to Recharge Kids) for our high ability students.  Students have the opportunity to feed their curiosity, their creativity, and their innovativeness with the use of technology.  

I always teach sessions on writing poetry, and yes, sometimes it is hard to compete with drones, spheros, ollies, 3D printers, and 3Doodlers.  But I need to provide an outlet for creative writing because we live in a world of writing-for-the-test.  

I have used Google slides in the past to incorporate technology into my sessions.  Students write their poems and collaborate on Google slides, but I am looking for new ideas.  

I work with 2nd and 3rd graders in one session, and 4th and 5th graders in the other.  Do you have any apps or ideas on digital poetry to share that I could try this summer?  I have many students who come every year and we need something new.  I welcome your suggestions. 

Also, if any of you are still in school the week after Memorial Day and would like to collaborate, Skype, and share poetry across the miles, please leave a note in the comments.  

In the meantime, please enjoy our work from summer's collections.  




Saturday, April 8, 2017

What do you mean, they hate to read?

One morning this week as I was walking down the hall to my classroom, two teachers stopped to tease me about a comment I made at our faculty meeting the day before.  I had asked our principal if students could just stay on the computers after our practice test session instead of reading.  They all know my passion for reading, and thought this was quite the oxymoron.

In our conversation, one teacher mentioned how much her students hated to read. She looked at me and said, "Well, you had them last year, so you know what I mean."

The conversation ended, and I continued down to my room.

Then I stopped.

And I thought to myself, "What do you mean these students hate to read?"  These same students I had last year who read over 2,400 books?  My one half of an entire grade level who read more books than each of the total 7th and 8th grades?

This is a problem.

What happens after students leave my classroom?  Why do kids read in 6th grade, but drop off in 7th and 8th grade?

Maybe a better question is, What do I do in my classroom that motivates kids to read?  What do I do that is different from what they do?  I am not in their classroom, and I don't know how they motivate kids to read.  But I do know how I have been successful.

I talk about books.  I have conversations about books with my current students, as well as my former students, every day.  I have a segment on our morning show where I feature books to our entire school.  I celebrate other students' reading lives by having them on as guests.  Reading must be part of our conversations and our relationships with students if we want them to read.

Students have easy access to books in my classroom library.  Spending my own money on books is not something I want to do, but it is something I need to do.  Before our spring break, the librarian sent out an overdue book lists.  Out of the 132 overdue books, I had three.  Most of my students find books in our own library.  When a student needs a book, it is much easier for them to find one in our classroom.  Plus, it is easier for me to match kids with books when they are easily available.

I make time to read.  I try to start my class every day with 10 minutes of independent reading time.  When a person values something, they make time for it.

I expect students to read.  My students know I expect them to read two hours a week.  I let them manage their time by not requiring daily reading, but weekly reading instead.  Middle school students' schedules are busy, and I understand that being flexible is key to motivation.  But that is the expectation, and students will rise to the expectation which is set.

I share my literacy life.  Students need to have literacy role models in their lives.  Having a teacher who reads should not be left to chance.  All students deserve teachers who read.  When I read, I can't wait to share my thoughts about books with them.  I usually have several students in my mind who just might like that book.

This is how we build those reading relationships.

This is why my students read.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

#BestSchoolDay ~ Celebrate 2017 (twelve)



Each week Ruth Ayres extends an invitation to share the celebrations from our week.  

Best School Day - how many times have you said this?  Officially, I can say it was this week. On Wednesday, the Donor's Choose organization, along with 20,000 generous donors, supported 11,459 public school classrooms.  Through their #BestSchoolDay campaign, these donors gave over $2 million to projects created by teachers.  

Thanks to Donor's Choose, Aspect Ventures who matched donations, and a very special author, my classroom was one of them.

When I moved to middle school from 4th grade, I took many of my books with me. However, many of these books are geared toward middle grade students, not middle school, especially my nonfiction and poetry books.  

Earlier this year I created a nonfiction project, and it was funded by our local electric company.  Just a month ago, I created a poetry project.  

Middle school can be a tough transition into the teenage years. My 6th grade students try to balance school, home, friendships, parents, relationships, and extra-curricular activities, while keeping their emotions in check. 
One day my students are trying to outrun their childhood, and the next day they are thankful being a teenager is not within their grasp.
For my students, no day is typical, and each day is different. But literacy is the one thing that can help hold it all together.  My hope is that poetry will build empathy, allow for personal expression, and open their minds to different perspectives.
Today, I celebrate those who donors who are giving my students this chance.  

I celebrate those businesses who support literacy and freely give monetary resources to help teachers. I celebrate my author friend and other authors who support the hard work that teachers do each and every day. 

And as National Poetry Month begins, I celebrate poetry. 





These are just a few of the books which will be arriving in my classroom this month.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Ode to Dandelion #sol17


I believe being a writer is one of the biggest gifts you can give to your students. ~ Stacey Shubitz


This month I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a space for me to share my corner of the world.

Today is also Poetry Friday and Amy at The Poem Farm is hosting today.  Stop by and indulge yourself in a little poetry.



Today I am participating in Michelle Barnes' monthly challenge at Today's Little Ditty. This month Helen Frost has challenged us to write an ode poem, following these instructions:   
Choose an object (a seashell, a hairbrush, a bird nest, a rolling pin). It should not be anything symbolic (such as a doll, a wedding ring, or a flag). Write five lines about the object, using a different sense in each line (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell). Then ask the object a question, listen for its answer, and write the question, the answer, or both.
I found out Thursday that Crayola was retiring the color Dandelion. This announcement made me think about all the suns that will no longer be drawn in the corners of children's artwork, and I questioned, "Why this one?"  This question was perfect for my Ode to Dandelion.


Ode to Dandelion

Oh, Dandelion I see you standing proud in your box of 24.
Your back-to-school scent lingers in my backpack. 
My heart races and
a gasp escapes as I carefully pull you out.
The tip of my tongue licks my lips as I create my masterpiece of a corner sun.
Why, Crayola did you have to take away Dandelion?
Just to make room for a new one.

© 2017 Leigh Anne Eck


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Favorites Party Round-up #sol17


I believe being a writer is one of the biggest gifts you can give to your students. ~ Stacey Shubitz


This month I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a space for me to share my corner of the world.




My first slice for this monthly challenge was an invitation to a favorites party.  I have to say that this slice is my all-time favorite because it was interactive and was a great way to introduce ourselves to each other.  

Twenty-five slicers attended the party and each brought their own special items. However, some items appeared over and over again and become the top favorites. So here is the Favorites Party Round-up from #sol17.

6.  Food and drink.  There were so many food and drinks that I had to throw all of them together.  There were all kinds of yummy snacks and both hot and cold beverages served in special containers.

5.  Captured moments.  I was touched by the slicers who wanted to capture our time together, whether that was through a phone, an iPad, or a camera.  (I voted Terje the official photographer.)

4.  Comfort.  It became obvious that this party was a place to wind down and enjoy the moments with each other.  Everything from comfy clothes to comfy shoes and blankets to pillows was included.  (We even moved the party from my front porch to Deb's lake!)

3.  Books.  Slicers wanted to share books from their favorite authors to their favorite poems.  This goes to show that writers are also readers.

2.  Pens.  You can tell we are writers because pens, especially Ink Joy pens were popular.  This party forced me to try Ink Joy for the first time and oh my...they are wonderful!

And the top favorite item was CHOCOLATE!  Chocolate came in candy, cookies, brownies and everything in between.  We obviously know what feeds the souls of writers.

Lisa gets the kindness award for bringing the hostess a gift!  Thank you Lisa.

I hope all of you enjoyed the party as much as I did and will stop by again on Tuesdays.


Here's to a great month of slicing!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Good Old Days #sol17


I believe being a writer is one of the biggest gifts you can give to your students. ~ Stacey Shubitz


This month I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a space for me to share my corner of the world.

You realize how dependent you become on something when you no longer have it.  We become spoiled.  We expect it to just "be there."

These words are so true and are words that I lived out the first two days of this week.  Part of our computer management system was down the first two days back from spring break.  What a difference it made in the way we "did school" this week.

The office staff was not able to look up on the computer where students were.  They would have to either email or walk down to the wings to look for students.  

This chaos sure made us appreciate the old days when students had their schedules written down on cards, and the cards were filed by grade level in aphpahbetical order in a file box.  

Oh what we would have done to have that system in place this week.

We would have appreciated the good old days.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Professional Development Books ~ #sol17


I believe being a writer is one of the biggest gifts you can give to your students. ~ Stacey Shubitz


This month I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a space for me to share my corner of the world.

Friday I wrote about a new addiction, Ink Joy gel pens, and it seems that I have lots of company with that addiction.

Today's post is about another obsession - buying professional books.  Yes, I have many more than I need, and yes, I have some that I have not even read.  "But I might learn something new" is my mantra and my justification when it comes to purchasing professional books.

Reading professional books is cheap PD.  Many school districts are decreasing professional development opportunities for teachers due to budget cuts, and what I learn from reading these books and apply in my classroom, is well worth the money.

It is our responsibility as professionals to stay current in best teaching practices and to learn new ideas of what works in classrooms.  Why would we not want to improve our teaching?  Why would not want to personalize our PD to fit our individual needs and our passions? Why would we not want to read information on which to base our instructional decisions?

David Guerin wrote a great post "So You're an Educator and You're Not Reading" about taking ownership for our professional growth through reading professional books.  It's a great read and further justification for my (and maybe your) addiction.

So what new books did I just order that will be pushing my thinking soon?  Here's my list that should be arriving this week:




What professional books have you read or purchased lately?

Monday, March 27, 2017

PD Book Spine Poetry #sol17


I believe being a writer is one of the biggest gifts you can give to your students. ~ Stacey Shubitz


This month I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a space for me to share my corner of the world.

I love creating book spine poetry, looking through my shelves, arranging and rearranging titles.  One year I wrote book spine haiku for an even greater challenge.  

This month, Diane at Newtreemom created a book spine poem using professional books.  I have been on spring break this week, so my poem had to wait until I was ready to could get back to my classroom to see what titles I could add to my book stash at home.  

Here are my creations using professional books - one for writing and one for reading.



Write beside them
day by day
bringing life to words
after the end
the journey is everything


Book love
igniting a passion for reading
kids deserve it