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Showing posts from March, 2012
I first heard about Lessons from the Geese in the mid-90's.  The person who first shared this with me turned out to have a completely different agenda in mind and is no longer someone with whom I am in contact.  However, a spiritual leader I hold in high regard recently reminded me that this inspiring set of lessons is just what we need right now.  This reminder made me realize that I still hold on to this vision in spite of popular beliefs to the contrary.  I hope you find it useful, too.

Student Led Conferences

This Thursday and Friday we had student led conferences at my school.  This is the culmination of over a week of preparation and anticipation as we approach spring break.  Typically, the children gather their work in each of the core curriculum areas, and art, to share with their parents.  The children write  reflections as to why they chose particular pieces, and use these reflections to talk with their parents about their work.  If there is time then parents sit down with me for a chat.  
Even though I support the concept of student-led conferences I have not been satisfied with how they've gone in the past; something hasn't felt right about my level of participation.  I've come to the conclusion that while it's important to give students space to discuss their work privately with parents, it is equally valuable for all of us to engage in conversations that help extend the connections between school and home.  In the interest of changing things up a bit and because p…

Writing Tips from a Parent

Recently, the mom of one of my students talked to our class about her work as a writer of YA books.  She prepared a PowerPoint presentation using Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt as her mentor text.  The following list includes some of the tips she gave the children.

(1) First, it's important to write about what you know so that you can write with confidence and authority.

(2) A well-developed beginning, middle, and ending is a critical component to any story.  Just writing "the end" is not enough.  It was great to have a professional writer point this out to the children since often that is how they end their stories because they've figured out that they don't have anything else to say.  The truth is that either they didn't plan their story before sitting down to write, or they didn't have a problem in the story that needed development and resolution.  This is something I'm planning to address during the last term of this year.

(3) Pay especial atte…