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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Flowers and Great Teacher Books

Iris are my favorite spring flowers. My mom has so many that she has shared with anyone who will take them. But that's not the theme of this blog. So I guess it's time to get back to my stated purpose-sharing good stuff I'm reading. I am really excited about two books: The Daily 5 and The CAFE Book by The Two Sisters. These books outline a great structure for getting kids to read and write more. The Daily 5 explains how to set up five different independent literacy times in a school day. The directions are very clear and are helpful to old pros and newbies alike. The CAFE Book explains how to confer with students about their reading goals and gives examples of skills that all levels of readers need to improve. Even in my limited time of 45 minutes per group, I have set up the read-to-self routine. I plan on adding more next year. I may work one of the five each day of the week, in other words the weekly 5 for ESL. Or I may focus on just a couple of the routines like read-to-self and writing. Lots to think about. If you are looking for a book to improve your teaching, I recommend these two.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Quick Curtains

Saturday the to-do list kept us running all around. Martin fixed the kitchen light. Hallelu! It's been dark in there for over a week. I knew he could do it and he finally decided he could match red to red, yellow to yellow, etc. He was very proud to have done something electrical without calling a repairman.
In our running we found some bright yellow fabric for curtains for the corner bedroom and a whimsical curtain rod with little birds on the ends. I got busy and made simple unlined curtains in less than two hours. Clipped them on rings. Martin battled the wall and got the curtain rod up. Voila! New look in less than one day.
It was a great feeling to get two projects finished.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Music and Kids

I spent the day with eight young singers. They didn't pay much attention to me as I sat in the row behind them while they rehearsed and sang at choir festival. They knew the songs much better than I thought. After the worship concert we drove to the movies in Madison. Again, I got to listen as I drove and they talked. The conversation illustrated quite nicely an article I read yesterday on the difference between third and fourth grade students. It seems that at around age nine children begin to look more to peers for information and affirmation than they did at age eight. Much of the conversation seemed aimed at impressing the other kids. Kid watching-so interesting.
On the long range memory side of the day, as I took the last two kids home they were both humming/singing one of the praise songs they had sung in the concert. That is the part of the day that I hope stays with them.