I need to get better at this blogging thing. I’m not sure how all of these awesome teacher bloggers find balance between teaching, blogging, instagraming, tweeting, and enjoying non-teacher time (does that even exist?). Although I’ve been MIA some good, bad, and fuggly has been taking place in my classroom and I am excited to share!
So it seems like I’ve been eating out a whole lot instead of blogging. Dinoman and I spent the blizzard day in China Town. No wait at Lao Sze Chuan!
Then we overly indulged in BBQ…
Followed by a half Lilly Q’s pulled pork and slaw pizza and half Antique Taco pizza with chilli, avocado crema, pickled onions and chives…
1. My Dream IT project with the MSU Urban STEM program has been awesome to watch evolve. The project objective states that students will be able to obtain, evaluate, and communicate environmental issues affecting their community while developing skills of an activist and global citizen. My students have spent the year exploring activism through reading, writing, and researching about themes such as power, social responsibility, societal improvement, and change and transformation. I am amazed by the high student engagement, excitement, and transformation from students to activists. I’ll dedicate a detailed blog post to share the awesomeness that relates to our project.
2. I have a love hate relationship with professional development. I love to attend, but it irks me when I am pulled away from the classroom for eight hours to be lectured at or to hear something I’ve learned from my blogging friends, my own professional reading, or a college course. I’m sure you thought this rant probably belonged in the fuggly section, but I totally am overjoyed by the learning, collaboration, and enlightenment I experienced at a literacy pd last week. Kudos to my district for sharing great resources presented by talented teachers!
3. The temperature has finally been regulated in my classroom! It has been three days since we have had to open windows and turn on fans in my classroom during the arctic winter temperatures. I’ve never been able to keep a cardigan on all day, let alone wear a shirt underneath my cardi with long sleeves.
4. My student’s mom sent me a little something something last week.
Yes, those are chorizo sticks and peppers.
1. MOY. Enough said. My students are more than a number and it is heartbreaking to see students struggling with extreme test anxiety over some growth on a standardized assessment. (Good: Most of my students grew and I have the lowest standard deviation I’ve had in my five year teaching career, diverse learners included. What a double edged sword.)
2. iPads are an awesome tool, but when schools are paying for progress monitoring programs these tools transform from a device to redefine learning through the creation of authentic products to a tool substituting the drill and kill that we see time and time again in the classroom. My students have a 90 minute quota a week on one program and 60 minutes a week on another. The data is valuable, but my kids need more time to analyze and talk about text as well a creating videos, infographics, and blogs about their learning.
1. My library is a hot mess. I have hundreds maybe even thousands of books that are mine from Donors choose, non-for-profits, and my own childhood collection. My new sixth graders are very hard on books and have yet to master the appropriate etiquette for the care, keeping, and returning these timeless gifts. I considered putting caution tape around my library until I can coach the six grade librarians into organizing, logging, and relabeling books. I am being extremely dramatic, forgive me. I’m thrilled that books are being checked out, read nightly, and returned with flaming hot stains (I like to read and snack too). I am experiencing withdrawal now that my superhuman student librarian is a freshman in high school. This gal spent any free minute in my library from 6th to 8th grade maintaining book baskets or snuggled up in a butterfly chair engulfed in a story.
2. I was re-gifted a rose today.
Student: “Here, Ms. G. This is for you.”
Me: “How sweet of you.”
Student: “Some people in this class just don’t know how to appreciate a rose when they get one.”
Me: “Hun, was this a mean spirited gift? It is hurtful to give something to someone and take it back and give it to someone else.”
Others: “He gave it to Jane*, but she didn’t want it because she is in a relationship.”
Student: “She said she had a boyfriend. I don’t want to send him the wrong message, so you can just have it.”
Happy Valentines Day,