Showing posts from August, 2017

The Ride #SOL17

Our legs dangled over the park-goers below, the flashing lights on the rides illuminating the summer night sky. We sat in a cable car, with just a bar securing us, nothing underneath our feet. Alex, my almost 7 year old son, said, "I'm just going to sit perfectly still." I could barely respond, willing myself to breathe deeply and avoid the panic I felt washing over me.

I used to be so adventurous.

My dad always tells the story of how I went on Lightning Loops with him at Great Adventure. I was my son's age- six- when I went on the rollercoaster that went upside down and backwards, super fast. I wore braids at the time and my mom remembers seeing my braids up in the air as we zoomed through the ride. My memory of the ride was it was very fast and frightening, but I was with my dad and so I was safe. 

Hershey Park was our last hurrah of the summer. Back to work for me this Friday and school starting for all of us. The lazy days of hanging out and being with each other al…

Non-Negotiables #SOL17

I recently volunteered to co-chair a committee for my son's elementary school's PTA. He's going into first grade, so I'm still a "new-ish" parent in the school and looking to get more involved where I can. One of the pieces of information I received was a list of "musts" for committee chairs. "Must" was typed in boldface and there was a page of them. It filled me with anxiety to see all those bold MUSTS on the page for a volunteer position. 

But it made me think of an anchor chart I saw for writing workshop. It was entitled "Non-Negotiables" and included things like spelling high-frequency words correctly, using punctuation, and capitalizing the first letter in a sentence. As if a child would ever not be capitalizing because he didn't realize it was a non-negotiable. Where is the understanding and respect for how students are entering into writing- perhaps as an ENL student bravely attempting to write in English? The special e…

#pb10for10 Books to Spark Written Conversation with Families

August 10th is one of my favorite days of the year- #pb10for10! These lists are always incredible and introduce me to new books for my third graders and my own two children (almost first grader, preschooler).
My theme this year is books that would spark conversations for our Family Dialogue Journal. I used Buncee to create a presentation, which you can access here

I am hoping that having 10 books selected, with a couple of questions generated, will help me use the Family Dialogue Journal with more regularity this year. I found it very valuable and some of the conversations between students and family members were powerful. A goal for this year is to build it into the routine earlier and even talk with parents about the journal at Back to School Night. 
I can't wait to see everyone else's lists!