Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Slice of Life

"Can we quickly run to Target before we go home?" I ask my mom while Emma crams a few more fries in her mouth.

"Sure," she smiles.

We quickly drive a few miles away. I am pondering why the leaves still haven't changed even though October is a few days away. Knowing that when the first freeze arrives my allergies will be gone. How I wish I had time to just sit, rest and enjoy nature...but not my life right now!

We walk into Target and I make my few purchases--one of them a new car seat for Gracie who is now almost 3 and has outgrown her other one. I get the bright idea to switch them out. I mean really it can't take that long right?

WRONG!! Emma and Gracie are in the front seats of my car while mom tries to read the directions to me and Emma is screaming at me to turn on Imagination Movers and Gracie is just upset because I am changing out her car seat.

30 minutes later I am sweating and exhausted, but achieved my goal. New car seat intact--check....unhappy Gracie--check...safe child--check!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Literacy Workshop is up and running....

My students have completed their first piece for me which I use as a baseline to create the rest of the nine weeks lessons. This year my focus is on making my conferring sessions count. Last year I felt so rushed trying to get to all the writers who wanted to meet with me, so I thought it through and came up with a schedule for my writers. I meet with six-seven writers a day Monday-Thursday. Then another six-seven students have an opportunity to visit with a "Guest Conferrer." Many times it is a parent who has volunteered to come in. I wrote a letter to the helper with their own conferring sheet and they meet with a writer also. So on a typical day 12 of my students (roughly 1/2 the class) talk about their writing with an adult. I love it!!! This week was my first week to start the "Guest Conferrer" and it has been a huge success. I highly recommend it. In fact, one day my principal was the guest conferrer and I called Student A up to confer with me and she said, "Well, actually Ms. S, I would prefer to meet with Ms. Sumner!" I giggled and explained while she was welcome to visit with Ms. Sumner, if there was time, I needed to meet with her because I had a special lesson in mind that was just for her.

If you would like to get this started feel free to adapt my letter and conferring records. The conferring record template was from Stacy and Two Writing Teachers and I tweaked it for my needs in the classroom.

Guest Conferrer Record for Meeting With Student

Classroom Helper

Parent Letter Asking for Volunteers
Parent Letter for Conferring