Friday, August 26, 2011

First 8 days of School Reflection

Here we are fellow educator friends. The new academic year 2011-2012 has begun. This new year brings many hopes. For me, this year bring hope that I will be able to turn every child that walks into my room a lifelong reader and writer. I hope that this year my students devour books with pleasure and not pressure. I hope that every child finds JOY in what he does, whether it is writing a note to a friend, reading that chapter book he's been waiting for, or simply find joy in coming to school day after day. It is my hope that my love for reading and writing is transparent and contagious to everyone that steps in Room 102-ESL.

This first 8 days of school has been amazing. They have already opened my eyes to some  big small moments that I need to pay close attention to. This is what I've noticed this week:

* When I asked my 3rd/4th grade class how many of them read over the summer 29 hands went up. (Yay! Bravo!) and two children didn't raise their hands at all ( Challenge #1. How am I going to turn M and L into reading this year?)

*The 3rd grade teacher shared with the that the highest score in our first writing diagnostic of the year, the ESL students scored the highest. Every single one of them. I raised writers. (THank you Lucy Calkins, Katie Wood Ray, Lisa Cleaveland, Ann Marie Corgill, I couldn't have done it without your powerful teaching/books).

*Children's interest in books ignite my passion for bringing more books into the classroom. Finding out what they're INTO in the world of books is a MUST in my journey.

*I heard this week for the first time in my years teaching at Beechwood a child that said to me, " I can't read." I'll carry his words in my heart all year long and I promised myself that it will be the last time he'll ever utter those words.

*While I confer with my writers this week, I was able to synthesize all my information from my conferences right there on the spot. This allowed me to do a powerful wrap-up session after sharing time.  A powerful wrap-up with a lead to next day's focus.

*Matching readers with books was THE MOST exciting thing to watch. Children "shopping" for the books they'll read in independent reading. I told me them it should be a balanced reading salad: a little bit of nonfiction, a little bit of picture books, with a big pinch of chapter books. They were ready to devour books after the intro.

* We have PebbleGo at school finally!!! I was happy to discover that a lot of my students have internet access at home. Can't wait to discover the possibilities there.

*I love watching 1st and 2nd graders totally into those reading phones and boy it helps keeping our voices down while reading. I discovered those 10 years ago and every year I'm thankful I was introduced to those by a talented teacher in Colorado.
*This very simple yet powerful workshop structure allows so much understanding from the children's point of view and flexibility from my end.

*The love for reading is contagious! One of my students went to the Columbus Metropolitan Library and checked out 7 books in a series she is very interested since our classroom didn't have copies of those books. She took charge and showed everyone that she is, in fact, responsible for her own reading life. Her enthusiasm made another students bring his favorite books from home so that he can access them here at school. May I just say around of applause for these young readers who are showing us they ARE ready to learn, to read volume this year, and to be in charge of their own reading life.

As Friday approaches, I will make sure I take some precious minutes to enjoy our accomplishments from this week and look ahead at another exciting week of learning and new hopes.


debf said...

I love that you have captured your big small moments here. My goal this year is to be present in the moment, to really hear what my kids are saying, It is so easy to allow distractions interrupt these small moments.

Mary Lee said...

You are a versatile blogger!