Saturday Skinny

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 11.58.24 AMReading Workshop 2.0

$_35Today I finished book #11 of my summer reading:  Reading Workshop 2.0 by Frank Serafini.  I was hoping for more than I got out of the book.   :/   A lot of the book was theory or lists of tech resources that are already familiar to me.  I did learn about some new resources and I set some goals for my reading workshop this fall.

1.  I want to use more videos of author and illustrator interviews during the reading block.  I know these resources exist, but I always forget to use them.  This coming year, published authors will be sharing in our reading workshop, too!  I promise!

2.  I will include more mini-lessons to model how to navigate and code digital texts.  I swear!

3.  Students can record their book reviews sometimes and post the videos on their blogs.  Switch it up and keep them engaged!

Painting and Crafting

20150704_145659For some reason, I agreed to paint a Minecraft inspired wall in my son’s room.  It is a work in progress, but this project is taking up the majority of my weekend while my son is away.  (I have been working on it for months, but keep finding reasons to procrastinate.  Reminder to self:  Do not make promises to paint entire walls with anything except solid color!)  I’m sure there was an easier way to do this, but my first attempt at stenciling and I don’t think it looks too bad…20150704_212945

I also created this surprise for my son to put in his room, when it is finally done…He creates all kinds of Lego men based on different characters from movies, books, and television shows.   Now he will have a way to display them!

It’s Raining Assessments

Lately, it seems like we test, with a little teaching in between.  It has so overwhelmed education that it keeps popping up in children’s and young adult literature I have been reading/listening to lately, so I needed to share a few examples I have come across lately.


Let me just say I LOVED listening to this a  few weeks ago  on my way to school.  It is about this boy who moves into a purple mansion when his dad remarried.  He starts having these horrible nightmares and travels into this “Netherworld” where nightmares live.

So one of his friends has this reoccurring nightmare where he can’t pass a test.   And so he gets a reminder…

                “Most tests don’t measure how smart you are,” he proclaimed.  “They just measure how good you are at taking tests.”


So in the fourth book of the series, the demigods are talking to a Sphinx.  They need to answer ‘riddles’ to pass through unharmed,but it turns out that the “riddles” are actually questions about random facts.

“This test material is specially designed.”

“Think?  How am I supposed to test whether you can think?  That’s ridiculous!”

Once the grading machine is broken by a member of group, the Sphinx is infuriated:

“I can’t be exemplary without my test scores!”

I disagree Sphinx – we can be exemplary without constant assessments!