Skip to main content

Small Moments

The small moments in our classroom are so important!
They may not be part of our lesson plans or the curriculum guides. They are made up of what students bring to the table.
To ignore them would be to do students a disservice.

When we return to school on Monday after Spring Break, my students will have three days to prepare for student led conferences. A very short turn around time, to be sure! But, at this time of the year, when we've reached a comfortable rhythm of learning in our class, this is doable. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'm not wrong!


But, back to the point of this blog post - honoring the small moments in our classrooms.

A few days ago I asked my students to start thinking about what they might share with parents. One girl said that she was going to share a book she had read at the beginning of the year - When You Reach Me - and compare it to The One and Only Ivan, which she has just finished that day.



My first thought, and I'm not thrilled that this was my first thought, was that When You Reach Me is a F & P Level V while The One and Only Ivan is a F & P Level S. So, of course the first book would be challenging at the beginning of the year, while the second book would not be as challenging at the end of the year. Since we're all about levels at my school, this situation would not be viewed favorably by colleagues.

So, I will take this small moment and go with it.
I will celebrate my student's engagement with books.
We will talk about both books and dig deeper
about what she sees as the fundamental
differences between the two books.
I'll ask her to find another book she has read recently
that is also just right for her.
I will use this moment to investigate deeper.
To better understand my student as a reader.
To celebrate with her.

This small moment could yield big ideas about how my student views herself as a reader.

The small moments in our classroom are so important!
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Teacher I Want to Be

The
I have been dismayed to realize that despite my self-image as a teacher with a learner centered classroom, I am far from truly achieving that goal. 

I have been listening carefully to myself lately, and I don't like what I hear myself saying to the kids. Instead of empowering my students to take ownership of their learning, I am still the director on the stage. I still ask leading questions rather than ones that push the learner to figure things out for herself. I realize I often spoon feed my students hopeful that they will give me the answer I'm looking for. An answer that will make my job easier. Answers that will fit with what I expect students to say despite the fact that 30 years in education has taught me nothing if not that students are unpredictable, and if we prepare for anything, that is what we should be prepared for. 
Teacher
An anecdote. The other day I was talking with a student about the fact that she was abandoning more books than she was finishing. I was as…

Searching for Balance

I have been doing a lot of soul searching over the last couple of days. 
And, I've come to the conclusion that I must change my attitude - shift my stance - so I can assume a new perspective. So that I am more aligned with what's important and may add value to my life.  
Focusing on the negative is not making me stronger or healthier. In fact, I am often stressed because I worry a lot about unimportant things. I obsess over situations out of my control. I dismiss positive experiences that would help lift my spirits and align my focus towards what's important. 
I need a distraction from my own thoughts.
I need balance in my life. Not because I work hard to prepare my classes. Not because I read a lot of professional literature. Not because I wrote a lot this summer and will continue to do so now that school has started. But because I have been obsessing on the wrong things. Mostly, I obsess about what someone said or did and what it says about me as a teacher. I obsess about …

Sitting in My Usual Spot

I am sitting in my usual spot.
At least it has been my usual spot for about a week now.
It has become my work space.
It's where I sit to participate in online summer PD activities.
It's where I read.
It's where I write.

My usual spot is in a corner of the couch.
The arm rest is unusually wide.
I can pile my books, notebooks and even my laptop there.
And, I do.

I used to have a more conventional work space,
but then my husband, who works from home,
and was struggling to stick to his side of the desk,
finally spread out,
invading my work space.

One day, after many attempts at getting organized,
and not succeeding,
he told me that he was going to add an extension to our house,
so I could have my own work space.
I told him it was cheaper to tidy up.
That was months ago.

Before claiming my usual spot,
I set up a temporary, wobbly table against a wall in my bedroom
for a work space.
I used that for a few months.
Not ideal, but better than nothing.

I've reclaimed my conventio…