Saturday, June 6, 2015
Celebrate Turn #17
I am so grateful to Ruth Ayres for inviting us to share and celebrate events, big or small, from our week. I quickly wrote this post today, because I am off to the pool. Please excuse the rambling thoughts, as I try to capture this moment as best I could.
Today I celebrate the struggle.
The last two weeks, I have been working at our Summer Reading Camp, an interventions program for struggling readers. When the email came calling for teachers to participate in the program, I jumped at the chance to work with elementary students again.
The camp is winding down, and Friday was our last instructional day. I struggled with my plans for Friday. The days were becoming too routine, they were tired, and they were getting bored. (I mean it is summer break you know!)
At the last minute I changed everything I was going to do. Earlier in the week I read Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco, so I decided to read My Rotten Readheaded Older Brother, another book by her. After I read the second one, they each wrote about something they were good at. I was completely winging the lesson, and surprisingly it was leading into something much better.
At the end of the morning, I had some extra time and thought, "Great, now what am I going to do?" So I did what many teachers do in this situation. I looked in my box of read-alouds and pulled out another one: Exclamation Mark!
I love this book for many reasons, but today it put an "exclamation mark" on our last day of learning. (Monday, our real last day, is a fun day!)
After reading the book, I told them, "Today, we read about a sister who always wanted to do something better than her brother. She wanted to be good at something that he wasn't good at. I know reading is not always easy for you, but look at what you wrote about today. Each one of you is good at something: playing sports, playing video games, and dancing ballet. Not everyone is good at reading, or writing, or math. But YOU are good something. Sometimes, we are like the exclamation mark - we just have to find a way to make our mark."
Yesterday, I struggled with my plans for my struggling students. It wasn't what I had planned, but ended up being one of the one best days we had together.
Sometimes we have to go through the struggle in order to celebrate.