Saturday, November 23, 2013

Celebrations 11/22

Discover. Play. Build.

This is a fabulous idea from Ruth Ayres in which we write about something to celebrate each Saturday. I am looking forward to participating in this link up each week and hearing about the awesome things happening in everyone's classrooms and lives.

I wish I could be celebrating meeting all my PLN friends at NCTE this weekend...I will be eagerly watching Twitter for those excellent tidbits that people share from the amazing sessions they attend.

I finished my first trimester report cards yesterday.  I am so happy to be finished with them!  Our standards-based report cards are overwhelming and difficult to complete.  I love that I can give proficiency scores instead of traditional grades, but it is so hard to get parents to understand the system and my district has made these report cards needlessly complicated.  Therefore, I spend a lot of time with the comments that I write and it is always an overwhelming process.  It feels like such an accomplishment to be done with this first round.

After having a wonderful breakfast last week with some nerdy book club friends, I ordered Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller.  I knew before then that I wanted to read it, but after talking with the two people who were reading it, it was clear that I needed the book immediately.  This morning I am celebrating having time to read in order to dive into this one.

This week, I took one day to book talk a number of books that I have been meaning to tell my students about.  I showed them this trailer for The 5th Wave because I knew they would love it:

I haven't gotten to the booktalks lately for a number of reasons and I was so glad to get to this. I love how eager my students were to read these books I told them about.  I have at least 5 new waiting lists started from this week.  Our reading community is going strong this year!

I had to switch my schedule around this week because I was not liking what was happening with the morning.  I decided to try flipping my math and reading blocks because I just haven't been able to get the morning to flow right this year.  This was exactly the right thing to do.  My math time went so much smoother than it has all year.  My students were working in the groups I assigned them and problem solving like rockstars this week.  It is amazing how a small change like this can seem to change the whole feeling of the classroom.  The best part was that our reading workshop procedures are so set that the change did not affect it at all.  I was worried that the independent reading time being right before lunch might make my students less able to maintain focus, but it didn't phase them in the least.

This week a number of yummy fundraising treats came in.  I got the delivery of Girl Scout chocolate covered raisins and chocolate covered almonds along with the Boy Scout popcorn I had ordered. These are guilty pleasures but I am celebrating their deliciousness this week.

What do you have to celebrate this week?  I would love to hear from you in the comments below.


  1. Andrea, you have really had a busy week! So much to celebrate! I like how to tackle those difficult situations--like math--head on. Change and see if that would work better. Kudos to you for being brave. I think you have earned a few treats this weekend!

  2. It's always a great feeling when report cards are done. And you have some guilty pleasures to enjoy along with your new book! I haven't ordering Reading in the Wild yet. What do you think about 5th Wave for 6th graders? I haven't read it, but keep hearing good things about it!

    1. I don't think I would recommend The 5th Wave for 6th grade. I can't exactly put my finger on anything that I find particularly inappropriate, but it just seems more mature. It is quite dark and they have to deal with some really tough stuff.

  3. Getting report cards done, especially writing the comments, is time consuming. Hurray.
    I ope that now you have a bit more time to enjoy reading and other pleasures.

  4. Yum! I've never heard of Girl Scout chocolate covered raisins. We just get the cookie fundraiser around here (no complaints about that). I hope to read Donalyn's new book soon. I am glad that you are getting to enjoy it.