Thursday, October 15, 2009

Is it tomorrow today???

Each morning, my sweet little four year old asks, "Is it tomorrow today?" as he rolls out of bed.  I always laugh...what a funny little question for one who is learning about the concept of time.  But it goes deeper than that.  He is always excited for what tomorrow's learning holds in store for him...whether it is preschool or a chance to create something or dress up as someone.  I hope we are planning our units of study and our daily plans so that each of our students will ask, "Is it tomorrow today?" with the same excitement  my four year old has. 

I know that as a Mom, I have been so lucky that my kids have teachers that cause them to wonder if it is tomorrow today!  I couldn't ask for anything better!! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Writing Challenge of 2009

Ok...after a few ah ha moments in my last staff professional development and some conversations around how challenging teaching writing can be, our lagging writing scores and how to improve...a few people brought to my attention the need for teachers to BE writers if we are TEACHING writing.  I had made that connection long ago, I would try to write with the kids...and when I am teaching writing, I do write with the kids (side by side, in front, before...).  But that became more clear to me that we need to really focus on the craft of writing.  More than just studying it...we need to become authentic writers.  We need to write as adult writers and grapple with the things that our student writers grapple with each day.

Now...I want to ramp it up...I want to try and write MORE.  Not just genres we are doing in class...but writing in my adult personal life.  I think I have a lot to say (my husband would agree...maybe even have too much to say at times)...and I want to start by trying to set some time aside each day to write.   I have always dreamed of writing children's books...and having 2 young boys lends itself to lots of story opportunities!  It's time for me to stop dreaming...and pick up my pen (or laptop). 

So my challenge is on...this blog is one way I'm going to try to write more (and I am finding that now that I am back blogging, it has theraputic qualities as well).  Next step...a writing club for my like minded friends who value the importance of pushing ourselves to get better and better.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Making Mud Pies

I have a favorite professional friend (I'll call her mudpies)...she inspires me, challenges me...and really makes me think.  I love that.  We have powerful discussions and much needed vents. We laugh A LOT!   The thing I love most about her, is that she pushes my thinking constantly. I never get too comfortable with where I am in my learning.  I call her for advice, to ground myself if I feel like I am getting ahead of myself and when I want someone to just listen to my frustrations.  I would call her a mentor, but she goes farther than that.  I am so lucky to learn from her.

My son has entered 1st grade...wide eyed and ready to learn.  I feel so lucky that his first grade teacher (and blessed that his Kindergarten teacher) make him feel the same way mudpies makes me feel.  Aren't we lucky when we get a teacher that inspires us and pushes our thinking?  I wish that for everyone.

My friend, mudpies once said, "Like making mudpies, the joy of trying something new comes from the process--not from the final product."

Thanks to all the mud pie makers out there!!!  Let's keep creating and pushing each other!! 

Monday, October 12, 2009 I go again

OK...I admit has been too long since I have blogged. I guess I could use the age old...I got so busy...but we all are busy. Teachers are constantly going from thing to thing maintaining the balance. But I'll be honest, I just got a bit uninspired...but now, I am back. I am going to tweak the blog a bit and change it into more of a learning focus...broaden my horizons if you will.

I want to start the conversations around teaching and learning...I am relearning the power of having meaningful discussions professionally. I laugh because I spent a few years right before leaving the classroom as a reading consultant really working on students having meaningful discussions about literature. So, it is kind of funny that I am now switching the focus....or more like a ...duh...why didn't I connect that before? But isn't that what happens?

I had the opportunity to listen to Katie Wood Ray speak at a conference and she was discussing the importance of exposing kids to the kinds of writing we expected them to do. If we want them to write a magazine feature article...they should know what one is and have time to explore reading several. I then thought...ah ha...if we are teaching the kinds of writing we are in the classroom, shouldn't we as adults be doing that kind of writing too???'s to the conversations...if anyone is out there reading...what do you think? What do you want to talk about? Reading? Writing? Assessment? Web 2.0? Let's push ourselves through conversation to hold each other accountable for doing things better and better each year.

I'll be back!!!