Monthly Archives: October, 2013

Slow Down,

back up, try to fix.

I had an issue with one of my classes. We just started this “class” last week and I was excited to try out some strategies I had learned over the summer. Did them last week. CRASH AND BURN. The quietest 26 student class you will ever meet. What had happened? These strategies were made for them!

I was using short pieces of text. I thought it wouldn’t overload them. Turns out, they can’t retell what they just read. I’m worried, but that’s a whole ‘nother post!

Moving on…yesterday, I still introduced a strategy. But, we stopped after chunks of text and asked, “What did I just read?” Then, after the whole piece of text we were reading, we stopped again and this time asked that question for the whole text. Granted the two strategies I introduced today and yesterday were by far the most obvious strategies, but engagement went up, and so did their understanding of the story. Small success!

In other news, I realize I need an office. And not my classroom. If I’m not doing stuff with my kids, it’s not gonna work. I see too many other things that also need to get done, and I can’t focus on one project. I had to laugh at myself earlier- I don’t even have a classroom in the building (I’m out in a trailer), how am I supposed to get an office in the building? 😉

But, wouldn’t it be kind of nice if we did have a separate office for just us? That would help me so much!

NaNoWriMo

We’re gearing up for NaNoWriMo in my class. And by that I mean I briefly told them that we’d be writing a novel next month and we need to prepare for it. During writing today, over half of my class was gone. Eh.

We did some free writing and are starting the habit of counting how many words the kids write during each 10 minute free write. I’m going to use these counts to help the kids set word count goals.

Here’s the thing. Another teacher and I also signed up for the adult version, AND I bought a new notebook just for NaNoWriMo this past weekend (it’s even from my out-of-state trip back home, where I stopped by my alma mater and bought a notebook from there so I’d be even more inspired). Of course, now it’s a super special notebook and that means I’m terrified to make any kind of mark whatsoever in it, much let get started on a novel.

And I’ve never written a novel before. How the heck will I lead my kids through this?

Ahh yes, the doubt has already set in. I’ve printed out some “how to write a novel” articles that I will share with my kids (and reread again and again by myself, for myself). I have two great teachers who are having their classes participate as well.

I did the Slice of Life challenge in March (at least, I think it was March). It was a start for me. Was it good writing? NO. I probably never want to go back and read any of that stuff again. But I tried something new- I put my words out there. Heck, I PUT WORDS DOWN SOMEWHERE. That’s more than I can say for most of my life.

So maybe I won’t get any writing down that I will want to share with anyone. Maybe I’ll get a few sentences I won’t mind sharing. Who knows? But I need to make myself do this. I feel like I have it in me to be a great writing teacher. I may never be a professional writer, I may never write so large audiences can read what I have to say, but I need to become a writer. I had a student show me last year how writing can help someone cope with something, feel better about something.

So here’s to thirty days and nights of literary abandon!! 

The Positives

I have a small number of drafts that I have started (!), but I don’t want to post them until I revise them. Huh? That is new for me!

So anyway, I’m going to list some positives in my life. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s easy for me to be negative. Here’s to making positive my new habit!

  • I have drafts that I am working on. That’s new!! I’m writing a little bit more than I have in the past. Hoping to keep this up.
  • We had a field trip today, and the kids from my school were definitely the best behaved.
  • One of my favorites (if I had favorites) totally cracked me up numerous times today.
  • I met with a coworker and we seem to be on the same page with a number of things. And, she’s doing an idea I had with me! It’ll probably be extremely overwhelming, but I think in the long run it’ll be awesome and we’ll be able to reflect on it and do it again next year, but better.
  • I’m no where near running a 5k right now, but I’m feeling stronger on my walk/run workouts. Sunday’s was my best so far this year!!

I’m going to stop now- I’m exhausted. And smiling. 🙂