Slice of Life #28 and a Revision

“I need to show you something,” she said as she walked in holding her laptop.

Oh no. I couldn’t help but wondering what was wrong. My anxiety jumps to the worst possible conclusions in seconds.  Why would a fifth grade teacher be coming into my second grade room?  I know I came in late to the meeting this morning, but that’s not something that ever happens…

“I have to sign in again.”  I waited as she set the laptop on the tiny couch and typed in her password.  The horrible possibilities rushing through my mind. 

When I noticed what was open on her screen, I realized why she had walked over here.  She was showing me that my slice was featured on TWT today!  I knew this, but she didn’t know that.  I was so excited that one of my slices was chosen to be featured in the “Be Inspired” section of today’s post.  However, it means even more that a colleague of ten years was so excited for me. 

In the moment, I was jumping to worst case scenarios, because that’s what I always do.  Looking back, now that my nerves have settled, I realize that she was smiling and excited for me.  That’s what I missed in my original version of the slice – the happiness and excitement.  My anxiety took over and altered the reality, so I’m taking that moment back.  Luckily, it’s March and I can reflect and revise my memory of this slice of my day.

“I need to show you something,” she said as she walked in smiling and holding her laptop.

I wonder what was so exciting it caused her to take the walk down the stairs, across the hall, and then up here to the “other upstairs?”

“I have to sign in again.”  I waited as she set the laptop on the tiny couch and typed in her password.

When I noticed what was open on her screen, I realized why she had walked over here.  She was showing me that my slice was featured on TWT today!  I knew this, but she didn’t know that.  I was so excited that one of my slices was chosen to be featured in the “Be Inspired” section of today’s post.  Thanks for being excited for me, Katie!

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 12.37.27 PM

I am so grateful for the community that SOL creates and all of the teachers in my school alone that are participating.  (We went from three of us six years ago, to numbers in the teens the last two years!)

 

 

 

 

The Book That Changed Everything

This is the personal narrative that I am working on alongside my students in our first unit.  It’s a work in progress. We’ll be publishing by the end of the week! 

Ring.  Ring.  Ring.   I saw Jackie flash across the screen.  Why is she calling me?  What does she want?  She only calls when she wants something.

“Hello.” I answered.

“Guess what, Jennie?!?!”

“What?”  I was surprised at her excited tone.  What could it be?

“I finished Twilight already!”

“The book?  Didn’t you just start it the other day?”  That couldn’t be right.  She had barely finished a book in her life, let alone one for fun…and only in a few days!

“Yes. I couldn’t stop reading.  I was picturing Bella and Edward in my head as I was reading-  since I knew what they looked like from the trailers.”

“Wow…Wait, you didn’t usually see pictures in your head?  With other books?”

“No.”

That was the first time I truly realized that the reason I loved reading was the movie that was happening in my mind as I read.  Jackie never had that before.  But because of the movie trailers out for Twilight, she saw the “mind movie” and she enjoyed reading.

Because of this realization, visualizing became a much more significant part of my reading instruction.

The book changed everything for Jackie as a reader.    The book changed everything for me as a teacher.  The bheading

SOL #13 – “It didn’t go as planned.”

The mid-month slump is here and I’m out of ideas.   It always seems to happen around this time and results in procrastination.  Lots of procrastination.  Dinner.  Dishes.  Netflix.  I started reading and commenting on student blogs.

One of my talented writers wrote a post about wet grass.  In it she wrote, “It didn’t go as planned.”  And that got me thinking…so many things have not gone as planned. In my life.  In each day of teaching.

Now I have a list of slices.  Being a teen mom.  The discussion on women’s rights on Friday.   A read aloud.  Losing at Monopoly. So, today’s slice is about not having ideas and finding inspiration in my student.  But, I also have a list of other ideas in my notebook ready for the upcoming week.

 

 

 

 

SOL # 8 – Confined Spaces

_I like confined spaces._

She entered the room like a dizzy flamingo, moving from one friend to the other, sharing her exciting news about being in the closet.

“I was in the closet!”  she tells one friend.

“I like confined spaces!”she whispers excitedly to another.

Yes, she was in fact in the book closet recording her argument writing as a podcast.  My goal was a quiet place that would allow only her voice to be heard, but the closet served as more than just a quality recording booth.  It also provided her with an experience she wants to remember forever and an overheard quote that led me to today’s slice of life.  Not to mention – this narrated video of her experience!  A-mazing!!

♥♥♥♥♥

I have a very special, talented group of kids this year and I love each and every one of them.  You can read their argument podcasts here.  Special thank yous are required to two of them today:

Thank you to ThisDoesExists  (aka my dizzy flamingo) for her story, video, and enthusiasm for confined spaces!

AND

Thank you to BabyKate9 for her “dizzy flamingo” simile!

 

 

SOL #4 – #proudteacher

I had a different plan.Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 8.51.34 PM.png

I had written a throwback slice

in my notebook earlier in the day.

I opened my computer

to the ding of emails.

But not just any emails!

Emails that tell me my students are slicing

and leaving their permalinks

on our class blog!

On the weekend!

#proudteacher  #timetoreadandcomment

5B Blogs!

 

Text to Speech in Writing Workshop

In a 1:1 district, where every kid has a device, technology is always present and used every Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.46.47 AMday.  However, sometimes looking for all of the newest ways to integrate technology causes you not see the most obvious ones.  This is how I felt when I read the chapter in Use Your Words about Technology Tools. Specifically, the section about “Text to Speech.”

My students have used “Text to Speech” before – to listen to text that is beyond their independent reading level, especially for research.   However, Deveny says that she uses it daily in order to listen to her writing.  Not in place of reading your text aloud, but in addition to what we ask the kids to do – you know the thing you are constantly reminding them of during conferring, but they never actually do?

Deveny suggests using the “Text to Speech” that is already part of your device to listen to your writing and revise/edit.  Of course!   This will be huge in writing workshop this year!  It will become part of my writing checklist and I have a feeling kids will enjoy it (especially because you can change the accent of the voice), so they will actually use it!

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 9.45.34 PM

Just one of the many insights I have gained from this book, useful in my writing life and in my writing workshop for my students.