A Peek Inside My Grad Course

If you’ve ever taken a graduate course during summer session, then you know how much work there is to do.  The course I’m teaching at Penn State Harrisburg is no different.  My students (who are the most punctual group of people with whom I’ve ever worked) take their responsibilities seriously.  They are in the classroom before class begins every morning and have working lunches daily.  We’re together for about eight hours each day, which is a lot, right?  But then, they go home and complete more readings each night, in addition to doing drafts of their assignments, two of which are due this Friday.  Talk about dedication!

I, too, have been very busy each night, which is why this post is short.  In addition to responding to student emails and reading over minilessons they wrote yesterday, I had a much longer dinner than usual.  You see, Maribeth Boelts is speaking with my students this morning.  Therefore, we hosted her for dinner at our home once her plane landed last night.  What a delight it was to finally meet her in person! (We’ve been corresponding since 2008.)  She was as kind as I imagined hoped she’d be.  Not only is she interesting to talk to, but she has an incredible way with children.  Maribeth had unending patience with Isabelle, my toddler, who was a little grumpy since she had a too-short nap yesterday afternoon.  In fact, by the end of dinner, Isabelle had taken to Maribeth much the way children take to Maribeth’s picture books.

Here’s a photo of the two of us after dinner:

I will certainly blog about the presentation Maribeth gives to my graduate students tomorrow.  That post will be up sometime next week.  In the meantime, here’s a look at some of the charts that are hanging inside of my classroom:

Students highlighted some teaching ideas from a few different authors’ books.

Brainstorming about the importance of teaching writing with children’s literature.

We studied Kalman’s Looking at Lincoln today. Students thought through all of the possible things one could teach from that text.