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Aren't Children Amazing?

Last week my students presented what they had learned about Guatemala to three different groups of classes at my school. It was part of the now annual Celebration of Learning. Although it started out as a way to highlight the Latin American holiday of Carnaval it has taken on a life of its own. We now share what we're learning about the different Latin American countries that we study, whether or not it's to highlight that country's particular customs around Carnaval time. Although my students' presentations were far from polished and they had been nervous while presenting, they felt they had done an awesome job . At the end of the day, I asked the children what they could improve on for the next time they had to give a presentation in front of a group. In a nutshell, this is what they said:

--Even though I was nervous I pretended there was only one person in the room and that I was just talking to that person.
--I just told myself that this was only for a few minutes and that I could do it for that long.
--I think I need to practice speaking in front of a large group.

Next week I am presenting at our local Teacher's Convention and I will most definitely remember my students' words of wisdom.

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A Confession

I have a confession to make.

I want to write a book. 
A professional book. 
I think I have a lot to say. 
I think others could benefit from my experience.
After all, I have been an educator for over 30 years.

But, what could I possibly say that hasn't been said before?
What new knowledge could I add to the table?
Who would even bother to read what I have to say?

These are questions borne of fear.
Fear of not being good enough.
Fear of not being able to complete such a daunting project. 
(At least, that's what it feels like to me right now.)
Fear that I won't make time.
Fear that I'll run out of time.

But, over the last couple of days, I've gotten some encouraging words of support from the Innovative Teaching Academy - 
#ITA17 Facebook group. 

You can do it!Write for yourself.
But the message that is propelling me forward is this one: 
It doesn't matter how many times something has been said...each time someone else says it, new people hear it...and that's where you make the d…


Today's post is short and sweet because I just got back from a night of playing Bunko with friends. 

I share some questions I'm grappling with in my classroom. 

No answers. 

Just questions.

(1) What purpose do math stations serve in my classroom?

(2) How can I continue to engage writers without overwhelming them or me?

(3) How can I determine if my tangled readers are learning to be better readers from the books they choose to read?

(4) How can I strike a balance between student choice and making sure my students learn what they need to learn at any given time?

(5) Am I demanding too much from my students?

As I find responses and solutions to these issues, I will post some ideas on my blog.

Any thoughts are more than welcomed!