Slice of Life Tuesdays: Lifelong Learning

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Slice of Life Small LogoLifelong Learning

Wonderful educational events happened here this week. All three girls received As for their summer school classes, two of us are reading and writing (to hopefully publish soon), and I’m leaving tomorrow for the Scholastic Reading Summit! As I continue to work on my teaching and learning goals, I signed up for the School Librarian test this week, too. I just can’t stop talking about authors and books, and to add that credential to my license will be awesome! I love being a lifelong learner, and I’m so happy that my kids are, too!

My teaching goal for the school year is set: help my students become lifelong learners. I am reading texts by other teachers about FUN in school, Genius Hour, project-based learning, and other marvelous ways to make school a better place for learners.  Teachers are spending this summer traveling to conferences and workshops to learn more, to be inspired, to plan for their students’ successes.  Wow! Amazing days are ahead of us, I can feel it!

I will use three strategies to meet my goal of building lifelong learners this year:

1) I will use time in my classes to read aloud, talk about books, and write. My students and I will read and write together, and share our processes to produce great works. We will use our favorite mentors — authors we love — to help us. Reading time will be used for reading; writing time will be used for writing. Talk is important, and sharing with each other will be fun.

2) I will allow choice in the classroom. I always have provided choice; I believe that students are more engaged and more focused when they work on what is personally meaningful to them. I will strive to offer resources from different media formats, as I am allowed. I hope to start students blogging, and I have already asked permission to upgrade our technology in the classroom. Students will choose projects that enhance everyone’s school experience.

3) I will assess my students fairly and help them to meet the school and state standards. I know that standardized testing will not vanish (I wish!), but I will also provide meaningful formative and summative assessments where students can be challenged and grow without fearing “the test” in the spring.

I want school to be fun again. I want my students to experience education that leads to a productive, successful adulthood, beyond my classroom. I want my students to be lifelong learners, like me.

 

 

SOLSC Day 15: Home Again and Reading

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Slice of Life Small LogoThank you to the ladies at Two Writing Teachers (www.twowritingteachers.wordpress.com) for hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!

Home Again and Reading

I have to say, that was a great weekend off! My sister’s birthday celebration was longer than expected, but very nice. (I’m too old to be out past midnight!) Sleeping in…ahh! (I probably don’t need further explanation for that one, right?) I don’t know if I could handle any more fabulous food. (I’m stuffed!) Now it’s time to get back to business.

I finally got home. It was nice to sit on the passenger side of the car today: sun shining, breeze blowing, and me…reading! Thanks for driving, my lovely daughter! I read articles, news from the past week, and some tidbits sent by friends.

Some of the reading hit me a little hard today. This “testing issue” in our country is way out of control. People are talking, and I think that’s a good thing. But I wonder about the actions that will follow as a result. I also worry about how the talk affects our demeanor, our attitude, our job focus. I need to keep in mind that I’m at work to do a job, and do it the best I can for my students and for myself.  I’m not sure how all the politics of education are affecting everyone else (although I’ve read MANY people’s opinions), but I know it’s affecting me in a negative way, and I don’t like it.

I’ll write more about this when I have my wits about me again. For the time being, I have to say that I will keep reading and sharing. Education is the most important topic, as far as I’m concerned. The words are out there. I’m waiting for the right answers.

Slice of Life Tuesday: More Reflections, Please.

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“Teachers must be critically reflective about their practice to improve.” — Frank Serafini

I have poured over ISTEP scores since last Friday when the preliminaries were sent to schools. Yep, I have a LOT of improving to do!

I asked students to do some reflective work as well: I surveyed them to review and choose the books that should stay (and go!) in the classroom library. I discovered the best advice they have for upcoming 6th graders through honest “advice columns.” I observed that they are ready for summer break! (It’s ok, I am, too!)

Soon, kiddos! Soon! In the meantime, we will talk about books, we will write, and we will share our last field trips together.

Then, when the little ones are sleeping in on June 12th, I will be critically reflective, and plan for next year’s improvements.