Thursday, November 19, 2009

kids say MOOOO

A really good book is like crab legs. Both are pretty neat looking on the outside, and the inside? Well, the longer you linger the better it gets. Maybe that's not the best metaphor, but give me a break-- I have a splitting headache and i've been nice all day. all day. nice. yes. me.

Anyway, I just want to share about my 3rd grade students. We've been studying various aspects of critical thinking in regards to literacy. I've pulled out Click, Clack, Moo, Cows That Type. I've modeled how to use a character organizer, a 2 character comparison, Retell using sentence strips, and on and on...great ideas can be downloaded/printed from the Florida Center For Reading Research.


Alrighty! Well, we've read click, clack, moo about 1,000 times, and each time i use the best cow's moo sound i can muster. one student who raises milk cows was very impressed with my hidden talent. sometimes the students will join in with the moo, and then yesterday was the best; I had to gather pencils or some other such supply not already at my fingertips, and i offered to let one of the students read aloud to the rest of the (small) group. they formed an arrangement of : one girl reading, two boys mooing.
the joy of read-alouds! the thrill of students actively engaged in learning! hooray for moo! hooray for us all. i just sat back down in my chair and let the group run with their excitement. these moments are priceless. i am SO thankful i didn't demand to have the book when i sat down--so glad i didn't interrupt. sooooo happy they were enjoying their reading, working cooperatively, and learning all at the same time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

feelin' greedy or showin' gratitude?

As we draw nearer to the Thanksgiving holiday, I am committed to being intentional in showing my gratitude for the everyday blessings that I am often tempted to overlook. We have vehicles that get us back and forth to work. We have a roof over our heads, and some of us (jacob) have a room decorated in an aesthetically pleasing way. COLTS.
We have food to eat, and even have the option of eating some of our meals out. We have friends to share our lives with. We have a great church family and a super pastor/pastoral family who genuinely care about us and our daily lives. THANK YOU, AL AND GINNY :)
I have a steady source of income for the first time in over 3 years. I have a valid and current teaching license. I work with 6 different groups of children everyday, and am thrilled to see their academic progress.
I have a husband who works 2 jobs to support our family. He is very low-maintenance and keeps our family stable. Thank you, daniel:)
I have a great neighbor who taught me how to read literature and think critically about books and film. Thank you, Amy.
Tomorrow: more on my thankful list--which will include our children, our kitty, my departed grandmother, and my new teacher friends at school.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Have you ever wanted to visit Alcatraz? I think it would be thrilling. Please don't assume that thrilling always means "in a good way". I imagine that Alcatraz would be exciting and ominous at the same time.
My 6th graders are reading "Al Capone Does My Shirts", which isn't so much about Al or the shirts, but is more about a young boy's struggles as he helps to care for his "eternally" 10 year old sister. I won't give away any more than that, so that nothing is spoiled. There are a few good resources that can accompany and direct your literature circle discussions. Currently we are following the guide provided to us by "Plugged-In to Reading".
While browsing for some additional information to share with my group, I discovered that there is a 2nd book (maybe there will be a trilogy) 2 is called "Al Capone Shines My Shoes". If any of you have already read this, pop me a comment and give me your thoughts.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

reading emma (again)

good evening, friends. in an effort to plan ahead (yes, you read that correctly) i am reading Jane Austen's Emma. Again. a book club may be in my future. if you have never read any of jane austen's work, please run, don't walk to your public library and get started on emma!
i would love to hear from you about any novel you love to revisit. any input or suggestions are welcome for those of you who have belonged to or led a reading group/book club.