1. I got see my family! Whoot! Last Sunday afternoon we went to Wichita to get the smallest member of our family back! Our little Hundley was visiting the family in Wichita last week due to my overnight stay at the hospital. So we visited Cravings Gluten Free Bakery in Wichita because I had not been there yet (we got the behind the scenes private tour, loved that). I have been missing them all and I only got to see my granddaughter for a few minutes, but I did get to see my grandson and he and my daughter worked together to build something! Here it is....
They used the pieces from the Jenga game and from the Topple game to build this arena.
2. My children surprised me at school with "thinking of you" flowers on Tuesday, knowing I was very worried about the stress test I was facing on Wednesday. Aren't they lovely?
3. My first graders read this book for guided reading. We tried to work on beginning, middle, end and wrote our story about a sandwich. It was very interesting.
4. I was talking to my fourth graders about their upcoming test and that I had confidence in them to DRAW CONCLUSIONS and to do a good job. I told them that I know that they are intelligent human beings. One boy started to shake his head. I think he really believes he is not that intelligent and he hides behind this to not give his best in school. So we added an extra vocabulary card. Each student had to decide what kind of "human bean" they were: jumping bean, coffee bean, jelly bean... and write a vocabulary card that said "I am an intelligent human bean." I know, corny. But I think that I cannot flog them into feeling confident, but I also cannot let them get away with self-loathing. So we combined corny-ness (?) with self-esteem building. I don't know if it worked.
5. LETRS training. I didn't take any pictures this time. But ironically enough, one of the things addressed was the need to teach students how to draw conclusions and how they do not "just know" how to do this. The speaker said that when she told her students to draw a conclusion they started drawing pictures. This is the exact conversation another reading teacher and I were having about our students. She could have been quoting us even. I guess I am on the right track! I love that moment. Not the moment when you realize your students don't "get it" yet, but that you know you are right to want to delve deeper and provide more direct teaching about something because it will benefit them in the long run. I love having that confirmed by an unrelated source. Sometimes I know I am a great teacher, sometimes I think I am taking a shot in the dark. I like having the great teacher part affirmed, the knowledge that I was/am on the right track! Hooray!
**** No photos, but the bonus was more family time. We celebrated my Dad's Valentine Birthday with dinner and cake and home made ice cream. What is love if not time with family? *****