Saturday, February 27, 2016

Celebrate This Week: Routines 2/27

It's Saturday and that means it is time to reflect on the week and celebrate things both big and small. Join our community and celebrate this week by linking up or just stopping by the host Ruth Ayres' blog to read others' celebrations.

This week I am celebrating routines and rituals in my life. 

First, for the last six weeks, I have been doing a challenge. I discovered this challenge on Facebook when one of my friends shared that she had just finished. I quickly investigated and found out that this was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for to challenge myself to change my eating habits and be healthier. The Whole Life Challenge is an 8-week challenge in which you strive to do 7 daily habits: eat well, meet your sleep goal, exercise at least 10 minutes, stretch for 10 minutes, drink enough water, do a lifestyle practice, and reflect each night. The challenge lets you choose your level of nutrition so that you can decide how strict you want to be with your eating. The most difficult level is pretty much the Whole30 nutrition. I am doing the Kickstart level, which is basically cutting out bread/pasta and cheese and sugar. What is nice about this challenge is that there is an online game in which you earn points--you can eat that thing that is not compliant, but you lose a point for eating it. I love that this challenge is not expecting perfection, but is making me think twice about whether I really want the treat. It has been really surprising to me how I really don't miss cheese that much.  I have discovered some great and flavorful recipes.  I feel good about being healthier and forming some good habits to take care of myself. A bonus benefit has been some weight loss that I have experienced. 

In my classroom, I have been working on tweaking our math routines. The other day, I came across an article that mentioned the two sisters and their Daily 3 for math. I had not ever heard of this. I knew all about the Daily 5 for literacy instruction, but did not know about the math procedures. This really resonated with me with the kind of math instruction I want to be doing. So, I jumped in this week with both feet. We had math choices and we had mini-lessons in between. My students loved it. There are a lot of things we will need to fix next week. There are some things that I thought would transfer from the work we have done in literacy that I now know need to be practiced for math time. But, overall, I was happy with what we did this week. I will be working to tighten our routines and find activities that will work well with the idea of having work times and choosing Math by Myself, Math with Someone, and Math Writing. I love the way this makes my math classroom much more of a workshop classroom and frees me up to really work with my struggling mathematicians and provide the best support for each student. I like the way this structure also makes me really streamline the time I have with the whole group. 

The last celebration I have to share this week is the routine of independent reading in my classroom. My students are reading for stretches of 50 minutes to an hour. Yesterday, I stopped them after about 30 minutes of reading, because we had spent some of our reading time reflecting and writing goals. At the time when I stopped the reading, there was an audible protest from some students, even though they knew that board game time was next. I love that we have been able to create this sacred reading space that students look forward to each day. 

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


  1. The goals you've taken on for the healthy habits sounds both realistic and helpful. Good for you Andrea that it's working so far. I love hearing about the changes in math & that you like what you experienced. That always feels good! Have a great weekend.

  2. Rituals and routines are definitely worthy of celebrating especially when they are celebrated they way you do, Andrea. This post was thoughtful and purposeful in your intent. Keep on with the healthy campaign. It sparks lots of forward thinking about well-being.

  3. That challenge sounds difficult, but something that makes you think deliberately about choices.

  4. Love your celebrations - personal and classroom! Kudos to you for taking on the Whole Life Challenge. I love that you've created a sacred reading space. Congrats to you and your students for increasing stamina!