Skip to main content

Gloomy Day

Today was a gloomy day.
I don't know if the rain and cold got me off to a bad start,
or if I was already there and the rain and cold simply made it worse.
Either way, it was a gloomy day.

The plans I made had to be altered.
And, I had to think on my toes.
That's not a problem, usually,
and it wasn't today, but I felt
like I didn't get much done,
though maybe I did.

My students started making an "I wonder"
and "I'm curious about" list.
They wrote a response to one of their questions.
Then, they wrote this question on an index card
and tomorrow we will tack up the index cards on our newly minted "I Wonder Wall".

Next, they started doing research.
Inevitably, someone finished quickly,
as if wonderings are that neat and tidy.
Others barely got started.
I've got my work cut out for me, such as
teaching my students how to make a list of key words to facilitate research.

The bell rang for recess.

In the afternoon, my students learned about Stop Motion Video from one of the 5th grade teachers.
I taught another group about Pinterest and we created a 5th grade PYP Projects Board.

After that, my students worked on their SOL story.

I'm still doing all of the revising and editing work.
Tomorrow I will start teaching a series of lessons
around writing conventions that my students haven't mastered -
punctuating dialogue, using consistent tense throughout a short piece of writing,
simple punctuation (periods, commas), checking spelling - and rereading their work
to make sure it makes sense.

Towards the end of the afternoon, some of my students read independently.

Finally, we did a 2-minute dance party to celebrate the end of the first week of #SOL16.
They didn't like my choice of music and stood around stiffly,
almost in defiance.

Are 2-minute dance parties uncomfortable for 5th graders?
And, should I just let them choose the music?

The bell rang and off we all went.

I get another try tomorrow, and so do they.

Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge, Day #7

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Mini Lessons

Sometimes, I plan too many teaching points for one lesson. For example, instead of focusing on one strategy that students need in order to become more proficient readers and writers, I try to teach several strategies at the same time. 

Sometimes, I stretch out a teaching point beyond the 10- or 12-minute time limit I've given myself because I worry that my mini lesson wasn't enough or my students won't have understood what I intended to teach. So, sometimes, I beat the lesson to a pulp one too many times, or forget to have the kids practice the lesson before they go off to read or write. (Asking students to practice a lesson after you teach it, with you right there to observe and help guide students through the process, is very effective. Try not to skip this step!)  

Here's an example of a mini lesson that lasted less than 10 minutes and resulted in better learning.

My students are in the second round of historical fiction book clubs. In a couple of weeks, we will start …

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!