July 10, 2018
Every summer I make a plan. The plan is often too ambitious. The plan has several essential elements: self-improvement in the form of professional reading and/or workshops, home improvement, and life improvement. More fresh air, more exercise, purging closets, reading, reading, reading are key on the agenda. This year is no exception.
This summer didn’t get started until June 30. I don’t think I’ll ever quite adjust to a summer that doesn’t start until after the first official start date of summer. Come on, people!! I think we can all agree that summer, no matter where you are, is a pretty exceptional time of year. Restorative, inspiring, spirit-lifting.
Here are some of my professional goals and how they are moving along.
Writing, Writing, Writing
I’ve taken to heart the notion that in order to be better writing teachers we have to write. To that end, I am enjoying four weeks of summer camp with
The first week, narrative had me write a couple of stories about small moments. I have a list of more ideas for narratives I might write in the company of students in the fall. The second week, poetry, explored so many ideas including repetition, line breaks, and sounds of poetry. Just to show I’m brave, here’s my poem displayed in celebration. Couldn’t we display so many poems that students (and educators) write so many places?
After studying the first units of reading and writing for the fall with the second grade literacy leaders to kick off my summer, I realized how beneficial it is to read
a unit through from cover to cover. To that end, I am trying to reading the beginning units in reading and writing for each of our school’s grades kindergarten through fourth grade. Last week I read kindergarten and am enchanted by a revisit to Emergent Storybook Reading. Beth Moore explains it magically here. I immediately created my bin of storybooks for loving in the fall with any kindergarten that will have me. Speaking of book bins, thanks to Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan for continuing to inspire me. Read more in It’s All about the Books, which I read right before school was out.
Finally, I have a tall stack of reading about writing books which include: The Unstoppable Writing Teacher (reread), Enticing Hard to Reach Writers, Joy Write, and The Power of Grammar. The Unstoppable Writing Teacher encouraged me to explain more to parents about writing workshop, consider carefully celebrating each writing unit with the students, and remembering on frustrating days that there is no such thing as lazy, only fear. That last idea applies to so much. Especially inspired by my Connecticut friends to read Joy Write after their amazing posts throughout this year following their study of this book last year.
Nothing makes me smile more than a glass of tea and lemonade on my porch or patio with an amazing read filling my head with great thoughts. I know I’ll return to school in the late summer ready for the challenges and successes a new year will bring. Hope you’re having just the summer you want as well.
Thanks for my encouragers in the Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge for always writing alongside.