I've just got to share the good stuff I read.

I love to read. I read every chance I get. If I read something really good, I want to share it with my friends and co-workers. I make copies of magazine articles, read aloud to my students, tell others about good books I'm reading, and keep a book with me at all times.

I love teaching and learning new things. I need a place to share some of the lessons and what my students and I learn. Since my teaching situation is different from everyone else's in my school, I would like to tell all of you in the blog-o-sphere about these great lessons.

Feel free to share what you are reading, teaching and learning with us in the comments.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Tradition

This tradition is book related. Every year on the school day closest to Halloween I read scary stories to my students. About mid-October the older ones remember the tradition and start to ask when we will do the scary stories. I read from the book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The stories aren't truly frightening-they just end with a scream. The set up is the most important part. The lights have to be off. The reader has to speak softer and softer until the startling scream at the end. This year I read to fourth, second, and third graders in that order. The fourth graders covered their heads and faces as I read. I don't know if they were scared or didn't want anyone to know they were scared. One of the second grade boys kept interrupting right as the story was getting scary so I stopped after two stories. The rhythm of the story was ruined by the interruptions. But the best group was the third graders. They sat in a circle on the floor. The lights were off. The story went perfectly. They all jumped at the scream and then fell over laughing and laughing at the fun of being scared. I love it!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Today is blog action day and the concern is clean water for everyone. We take water for granted. We have plenty, why don't others have what they need? I heard about a young boy who became concerned about clean water and used his own money and asked others to match his money until he had collected enough for two wells!
Now the problem isn't as much access to water as access to clean water. I don't know that much about it but you can read more on a blog I follow called 'Don't Eat Alone.'
That's all for now.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grumpy ole me

Why am I so grumpy with some folks? I think I have gotten over all the allure of teaching ELLs. I love to teach them, don't get me wrong. I wouldn't want to teach anything else. But I am so tired of folks who want to fix everything for them. Let's have a special program, let's be sure to have a translator, let's do this and that to impress the parents. Uhgggg! How about treating them like everyone else, not some sideshow. How about asking what they want before assuming what they need? How about asking what is being done before trying to take over or duplicating what is in place?

I must have had too much sugar or too little sleep or listened to someone complaining too long. Give me a break. If you are going to do something, whether I say 'yes' or 'no', then don't ask for my opinion. Just sayin'.

Another thing-people are coming to observe and decide if their money that paid for a workshop was well-spent.


On the plus side-I am thinking about how to teach writing with K-2nd. More later on that.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Good Book-A Beginner's Guide to Acting English

Can't believe I didn't write anything in September. Guess I was too busy with birthday celebrations and school.

Anyway, I just finished a really good book written by Shappi Khorsandi. She was born in Iran and came to England as a preschooler with her family. The book is a wonderful window on the homelife of an immigrant. It is full of funny stories from Shappi's childhood. I loved her recollection of starting a fire behind the sofa in her living room. Her brother was the instigator and it was really funny to read about their childish idea of wanting to play firefighter with real fire. I had a student who started a fire in his house but he didn't or wouldn't tell anyone why he did it.

There are some parts of the book that could be very helpful to teachers of ELLs everywhere. I am going to share one or two short parts with teachers in workshops. We forget that just because a child doesn't speak our language doesn't mean the child is not thinking and taking in how we treat them and the other students.
If you can find a copy of this book, it is worth reading.