Showing posts from July, 2017

#SOL17 The Question

"You love your daughter more than your work, right, Mommy?" she asks me out of the blue, peering at me through the open bathroom door as I get ready one morning.  Knife to the gut. "Of course I do, honey," I say, reassuringly, but wonder where that came from and why she would even question my love. Her question has been on my mind since she asked it. There are a lot of articles about the struggle of being a teacher and a mom simultaneously. There's "I cannot be a good mother and a good teacher" by Marissa Cooper. Dominicca Washington writes, " As a teacher-mother, I often feel a sense of guilt and question my effectiveness in both roles.  If I give too much to one, it often feels like the other will inevitably suffer" ( "I'm a Teacher and a Mom and Sometimes I Can't Be Both" ). One post that especially touched my heart was "A Letter to M y Children: What It Means To Be a Teacher" by Sarah Brown Wesslin

#cyberPD Chapters 7 and 8

This summer, I am reading Vicki Vinton's brilliant book, Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading with my #cyberPD friends. This is one of the best books I have ever read regarding the teaching of reading.  Chapter 7: Creating Opportunities for Readers to Interpret One thing I have really appreciated in this book is the examples of literature. In this chapter, Vicki mentions several books I know well: Julius, Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes, One Green Apple by Eve Buntings, and The Old Woman Who Names Things by Cynthia Rylant. I never thought about these books from the perspective of patterns that change but Vicki's explanation makes so much sense and I can see myself teaching students to think along those lines.  I love the idea of a "first draft understanding."  Other thoughts that stood out in this chapter: -Readers must be tentative before they are certain. -Asking students to analyze before interpreting is like putting the cart before the ho

#SOL17 This is the Summer

This is the summer he lost a tooth. This is the summer she (mostly) learned how to dress herself. This is the summer he jumped off the diving board, treading water 11 feet deep. This is the summer she stopped holding onto me in the pool and dipped her head under water, coming up spitting out water, blinking, but proud. This is the summer he started holding doors open for people. This is the summer she wanted to paint rocks. This is the summer he flings his camp bag over his shoulder and walks in by himself. This is the summer I still need to bring her stroller when she's tired. This is the summer he is tall enough for the water slide at the pool. This is the summer she wants me to braid all her dollies hair.  This is the summer he pours his own bowl of Cheerios. This is the summer she plays school and is the teacher.  This is the summer I've caught a glimpse of how fast it all goes,  how they need me less each day, yet still need me after all. This

#cyberPD Week 2- Reflections

I am so happy to be participating in #cyberPD for my third summer! This community always pushes my thinking and encourages me to dream and plan for the new school year. This year's selection, Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading by Vicki Vinton has led to so many thoughts and ideas about how to teach children to think deeply and be problem solvers when it comes to reading.  Last week, I pulled together my thoughts on Chapters 1-4 in a padlet you can view here.  This week, I created a Top Ten List of Quotes for both Chapters 5 and Chapters 6. There were so many important lines that spoke to me, so this was easy to do! Chapter 5: Creating Opportunities for Readers to Figure Out the Basics Top Ten Quotes 1. page 60: "In addition to reading books they had chosen themselves at their assessed level, all of these students had received instruction- sometimes over years- on comprehension strategies such as monitoring comprehension and envisioning. Yet none of them could c

#SOL17 Purple Flower Moment

She turns over the painted rocks, little hands picking up one, putting it down, choosing another.  "This one, with the bow and arrow," she decides. The stick-on design was a heart with an arrow through it. This is the rock she will give away. Onto her tricycle she climbs, placing the rock in the white wicker basket that hangs between the streamer laden handles.  Humming as she pedals, she rides her bike next door, up the driveway, up the walkway, stopping at the front steps. When our neighbor opens the door, she bubbles with excitement. "Norma, we have this rock for you!" she bounces up and down, her smile like sunshine.  Norma lives alone now that her husband Al has passed away. We used to see them sitting on their front lawn in chairs, Al with a beer, Norma with a glass of wine. They loved the warm breeze and the comings and goings that happen when you live across the street from an elementary school.  We sat with Norma for a while, chatting and Mega

Stand on the Other Side of the Gallery #SOL17

Oh, the endless task of putting away laundry. One thing that makes laundry-putting-away more bearable is it offers the opportunity to listen to podcasts. During the school year, I could check in on podcasts during my commute to and from work. Now that it is summer, I am in the car far less and when I am, I usually have my children with me. Thus, when I am alone putting away laundry, I can check in on podcasts I enjoy. Today I listened to the Heinemann Podcast from May 19th with Cornelius Minor. You can listen to it here: The episode was about "the over-engaged student." It was fascinating to hear Cornelius talk about a student who was given the nickname "Prez" because he acted like the President of the class. There were many interesting points in the discussion, but one idea really captured my attention. Cornelius shared how he loves art and often goes to the art galleries in New York Cit