Saturday, February 22, 2014

Celebration 2/22

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

We had an author visit at school this week.  Tuesday, Ilsa Bick, author of White Space, visited our school.  I am so happy that I am on the contact list with the local independent bookstore.  I have been able to arrange multiple author visits and I am so excited for the opportunities.  My students were excellent listeners and had some very good questions for this author.  I love what this kind of event does for the book buzz at school.  So many students are now really excited to read her books!

I actually posted on my blog more than just on Monday and Saturday this week.  I participated in a blog tour leading up to the release of Elizabeth Eulberg's new book Better Off Friends. This one is set in Wisconsin and there is a launch party scheduled at our local indie bookstore.  Check out my post and the others on the tour for more information.

There is a local theater who does some excellent work with the schools in Milwaukee.  We have a partnership with Skylight Music Theater and they do a number of residency programs at my school.  One of the residencies is called Stories That Sing.  The 8th grade classes use a piece of literature as inspiration and write their own versions.  The story is made into a script and then we work to rehearse and make all the set and prop pieces.  This is a really great program, but it can become somewhat chaotic and it takes up a lot of class time.  Our performance was on Friday and I am celebrating the fact that it is over for this year.  I love that we do this, but I was ready for it to be done.

My students are such readers.  It has just become so evident that so many of them are making reading into a daily habit and enjoying it.  This week I am celebrating the fact that so many of them are not relying on my recommendations anymore.  I am always willing to give suggestions, but I am loving seeing the evidence of their conversations with each other in the way certain books are racing through the classroom.  Lately, The Fault in Our Stars has become the biggest hit.  I can't wait to help them discover the rest of John Green's books.

On Thursday morning, one student arrived at school late.  All of the other students were in Music or Library classes so the hallways were empty.  After taking a moment to say hello to this student and make sure he knew where to go, I turned to go into my classroom.  This student stopped me and said, "Ms. Payan, I just wanted to say thank you for being such a good teacher." Anyone who has worked with adolescents knows that this kind of compliment is a very rare occurrence.  This was just what I needed that morning to help adjust my attitude after a long and frustrating staff meeting.

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


  1. Your week sounds so good, Andrea, and busy too (the theater part) but still with lots to be happy about. I love your connection to the bookstore-maybe I should check into that? Thanks & have a great rest of the weekend!

  2. It is such a joy to see our students catch the reading bug and to watch them start looking to each other for recommendations. I know how you feel, we just wound up our Mock Newbery book clubs/project the end of January. While I love doing it, I'm always glad to see it end too. So glad that you're connecting with authors through the local indie bookstore. Have a fun weekend!

  3. Wow at the compliment! It's always nice to feel that you are indeed making a difference. Keep doing what you do!

  4. So much to celebrate! I love the idea of Stories That Sing - it sounds like an amazing program.