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.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


I was looking at Facebook earlier today and read a posting by a former student. He wrote, "I hate Christmas." There were several comments by friends his age-he's in college now. One referred to Steven's first Christmas in the US. I remember that Christmas. He had only been here a few months. I was his ESL teacher. We studied winter holidays and I think I may have sent an information sheet home to his parents about Christmas. Steven was hearing and seeing lots about Santa and presents that was new to him. His father was busy with his own studies at the medical center. I don't remember if his mom worked or was also a student. Anyway, Steven's father didn't really understand little third grade boys or the culture that his son had been immersed in. Steven was hoping for this magical Santa person to bring him something on Christmas. I guess his father knew something was expected and had bought the family a television. The story he told Steven was that there was a bike left on the patio by Santa but some bad people stole it. Dad had fortunately bought the TV and it had been safely locked away in the car, so it was not stolen. When I heard this story from a very sad little boy, I had a feeling that this was Dad's way of 'saving' Christmas. Little did he know that years later Steven would hate Christmas because of his dad's lie. There was no bike from Santa. Dad wanted a TV and didn't think a kid's magical belief was important. I missed that opportunity to tell Steven about the real meaning of Christmas. I hope one day he will know.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Limbo

We celebrated Christmas early this year. It was good in many ways. I'm glad the shopping is over, sorry the cards didn't get sent, and sad that I was sick and couldn't taste much.
Now it's like we're in limbo. Everyone else is waiting to celebrate and we're done. I can enjoy reading and sewing on two quilts. Everyone else is still thinking of shopping and presents. Not completely over the cold/sinus infection but started back walking and that helps me feel better.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I am sick of the ridiculous testing that we are doing to our kids. Second grade teachers say it is making their students feel like failures. How can you learn when you think you are stupid? We have got to stop this testing craziness. I read an article about teaching content deeply versus teaching to the test. In the short term the teachers who focused on the test had higher scores than those who taught in depth. BUT the students who were in the deep content classes did better later when they got to college and had to think and be more independent learners.

So, what are we doing? Just the opposite of what helps students learn. AYYYYY!

What can I do about it? Try to make a difference in my little room. Work on a district or higher level to change the testing focus. Encourage the professionals I work with do more deep content. I read that 20 minutes a day was all the test prep time needed to be ready for these tests. Why can't we really teach interesting, student centered content the rest of the time?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Just a week away

We're celebrating Christmas early this year. Joey and Jessie will come to Jackson first-next Thursday if the weather cooperates. We'll pretend Monday, the 20th is Christmas. It shouldn't matter because we don't really know when Jesus was born. Then Tuesday everyone will go off to celebrate again with the in-laws. I'll send out Christmas cards after that. Maybe New Year's cards. There will be time to sew, time to send bills and straighten out the MRA checkbook-Ha, Ha.
Don't know if that will ever happen.
My walking routine has been seriously interrupted. I didn't walk much last week because of the conference and not at all this week because of the cold weather. I'll try to do better starting tomorrow.
I feel like the pressure is off. All the deadlines have been met. It was rumored that I would be asked to take over ESL for the district but nothing has been mentioned to me officially. I would like to do it but I think it may have been quashed by the person in charge.
Oh, well. Que sera and all that. More time for reading and sewing.