I’ve been thinking a lot about my year teaching third grade and the writing my students did. I had thoughts, opinions and ideas about what went right and where I still needed to make changes, refine my practice, be more strategic. Then, it dawned on me: I really need to ask my students what they think.
Thinking back over the year, what do you hope to continue or change before students return in the fall?
At first, pride filled my heart, but as I continued to watch, I realized the work ethics I was watching at that moment hadn’t been as clear nor intentional throughout the year. The day’s show of teamwork could have been the culmination of a year’s work, but I knew it was something more.
My third graders are wrapping up their unit on personal essay. While some have grasped the structure and have articulated reasons and examples to support their argument, others have struggled to understand the concept of an essay. I want to take some time to think about what went right when teaching this unit and where the breakdowns occurred.
What if there was a way to build in opportunities to reflect, in writing, about my teaching right in the place where the lesson plans reside? And what if that place could also offer daily inspiration and opportunities to set positive intentions for the week ahead?
As the end of this particular school year draws near, you might think about the qualities of your favorite stories to help you plan an ending that is meaningful for your students.
Do your on-demand writing samples go into a folder or do they help you plan your next steps?
Before you plan to ask your students to reflect on the kinds of writers they are (for their end-of-year self-assessments), be sure you ask yourself “What kind of writer am I?”
What goals will you set for your practice this year? Here are a few suggestions.
One thing I love so much about being an educator is the cyclical nature of the school year. The beginning of the year brings promise, renewed energy, and a certain mania. The middle… Continue reading
Dana Murphy shares some thoughts about the expectations we place on students when we ask them to reflect on their writing.
Reflections on my first Twitter Chat: what worked well, what overwhelmed me, and some silly things I tweeted.
Today Deb Gaby and I finished leading the third day of a three-day Foundations of Writing Workshop training. At the end, we asked for reflections. Teacher after teacher commented on the impact of… Continue reading
Unfortunately I don’t have a photo from Favorite #1. Christy Rush-Levine and I met for a walk + dinner on Tuesday. Christy is one of those people who help me feel grounded and… Continue reading
I love this quote. It is one of my favorites to share in a workshop. I read it today with an epic-cool group of teachers at Southbury School. (I learned epic-cool from a… Continue reading
This weekend I learned of a first grade club. “The teachers don’t know about it,” Sam (my first grade son) said, “So keep it quiet.” “What is it?” “It’s the Bad Word Club.… Continue reading
Expectations of common core, teacher evaluation, and what it means to be literate in the 21st century can sometimes pile up and overwhelm me. There is so much new information coming at me… Continue reading
The third part of the conference was led by Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan. They inspired me to stick to my beliefs. One of the ideas they talked about is a Framework for… Continue reading
You can change your attitude, your priorities, or your thinking on any day. You just have to commit yourself to a new mindset or way of life.
I have an irrational fear of mice. It is bad news. My husband has established a preemptive strike in our basement and garage. He engages in an impossible battle to keep our home,… Continue reading