Duck into Third Grade

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Mighty Morning Glories vs Ready to Give Up Roses

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Let’s do the one word response…Rose-? Did you say thorn? Since I just got stuck with one that was my response. Roses are beautiful but they do pack a punch! This being the first cool day we’ve had in a coon’s age, I decided to check to see if the morning glories were surviving (weeds had almost choked them out earlier). Not only were they surviving they were thriving way beyond the boundary of their trellis. The beautiful creepers were choking the life out of the rosebushes!
This made me think of those students that have a few thorns… whenever anyone tries to help…someone gets poked. Why? Do they feel like they are getting choked out by the mainstream because they are different? I had a student like that this year. He made a porcupine seem cuddly. The more the class tried to help him, the bristlier he became. After my battle this morning with the morning glories, I’m pondering what was going on in the mind of my little rebel. Did he fear losing his identity? Did he just not know how to act? Did he want to stand out? Or was he just being himself, bristles and all?
This is one of the many reason why teachers should teach WIDELY! Getting out of our comfort zones to teach reading, writing, and math in many different ways while we sprinkle in science and social studies along the way. Integrating all the subjects will ignite students and help them gain success in life by showing them how everything is connected. Their interests will be sparked and much will be gained by all! Believe it or not my little rebel loved writing reports on anything from presidents to pandas! He also loved writing his own math problems and sharing them with the class. Did he lose his thorns? Let’s stay in the real world. Did he poke less, oh yes! Isn’t that what we are all about…growing each student and yours truly into the best me I can be!

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Gallery Gifts and Good Times

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IMG_3922Ralph Fletcher, aka Mr. Notebook, was the keynote speaker for the past two days! How ironic that I was reading Harriet the Spy (could be aka Notebook Girl) at the same time. I was making connections like crazy! The big one, LET THE KIDS WRITE!!! GIVE THEM TIME TO WRITE!!! Fletcher’s book, Fig Pudding, was a class favorite this year. It is a heavy book but also hilarious and because it was on our gallery the class connected to it over and over. BUT, did I let them write about it a lot? Oh, they got their daily snippet of time but I feel like I short-changed them. There is a need to S-L-O-W down our teaching but the powers that be have other ideas. Who knows kids? Teachers or lawmakers? Who knows your class better than you? Developing relationships with the kids is something that can’t be taught but literature can help the possibilities percolate.  I love what Ralph Fletcher said about not taking all the juice out of a read-aloud, powerful! He also said the first reading should be to simply enjoy the story! That was like a breath of dark chocolate in this worksheet riddled world we live in where Teachers Pay Teacher book packets abound for both novels and picture books awaiting to extinguish the authentic enjoyment of reading a book. What’s up with that? Why gum up the works? Put up a book, a carefully chosen book to fit your class, and let the magic begin!

The family trekked up to Oregon to get all three grand kids together, along with their parents, of course! Good times were had by all and many books were read and reread! The book my son is reading in the picture was one of his favorites when he was but a whippersnapper.  I was thrilled to find a new copy and to see him read it to his little one! (passing the torch moment) Many joys abound all around! Seize the wonder of each day!