Amazing Kids

Amazing Kids

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Okay, so here goes. I'm teaching fourth grade this year, which will hopefully be the grade I'll be in for a looong time! I've taught every single grade. Yes. Every one. Some for a while and some for just a couple of years. Or maybe even less than that...

Last school year my then-seventh-grade daughter and I spent three months on the very small island of Culebra. It's a breath-takingly beautiful place. I taught in a small school there and she was, of course, a student. We lived through Irene, helped leatherback sea turtle babies find their way to the sea, ate foods we'd never heard of before, and showered in cold water. We learned so very much through that experience (check out our "Adventures in Culebra" blog)! Upon our return, I finished the school year as a literacy coach in a kindergarten classroom and worked in an office with a dear friend. My daughter and I are both very grateful to be back home for the beginning of this school year and the stability that home, family, and life-long friends provide!

Every year, as it happens, something drives me to laser-focus on some aspect of my teaching to improve upon and dive into. There's something about my personality that doesn't allow for me to relax for very long, so sometimes this causes me to way over-extend myself. I'm working on that...

Anyway, this year, I've read Donalyn Miller's book, The Book Whisperer, and it has shifted my paradigm of teaching reading completely. I'm sold; I'm in; I'm ALL in! Fortunately, my nephew who's involved with Nerdy Book Club and teaches fourth grade (the one and only Colby Sharp), has been steering me to great books, helping me learn to tweet, and encouraging me a lot in the process. Plus that, I was given a very generous gift to beef up my classroom library from two amazing local businessmen and have been reading as many books for fourth graders as I possibly can!

Our first class read-aloud this year is going to be the fabulous book, Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. I'm so looking forward to the impact it can have on our class. Our classroom wall now displays the slogan "Choose Kind," graffiti-painted by a very talented artist, Josh Rigelman. Our class will (hopefully) all agree to sign the pledge once we've finished the book. This year could be really big. I sure hope so.

I'm thinking this blog will help me stay tuned in to what my students need, challenge me to always think forward and keep me on my toes with my own writing (although this writing is somewhat dis-jointed!)

Stay tuned! Please!