Duck into Third Grade

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Grit Gives Gusto




How does a book about Grit, a little 6 year old girl and Close Reading paired passages connect?  Each paints a picture of doing something again and yet again. Duckworth’s book expresses that grit is more about stamina than intensity. Her research suggests that early strugglers have more stamina and patience. She even has a grit test which I’m sure Milly-Molly-Mandy would score up there with the paragons of grit that Duckworth has been studying. What are the common threads found in the grit gurus?
1. intrinsic interest in what they do (natural or developed)
2. daily discipline of practicing to get better
3. purpose-their work matters to them and to others
4. hope-they keep going even when things are difficult
She quotes a kid that made a D on a math test that exemplifies hope, “I didn’t dwell on it-it was done-I had to focus on what to do next. I asked for help and tried to figure out what I did wrong and what I needed to do differently.” Powerful advice!

Milly Molly Mandy’s quote is adorable because she has learned a lot about grit at a very young age. In this simple story book which is almost 90 years old she sees her friend Billy Blunt grumbling while he weeded his mother’s flowerbed. “Father says I ought to make myself useful,” he grunts.
Milly-Molly-Mandy replies, “That’s our sort of fruit. My Muvver says we’d be like apple trees which didn’t grow apples if we didn’t be useful.” Isn’t she adorable? She opens Billy’s eyes and totally changes the way he looks at his task. Her parents have done their job well.
My favorite quote from her mother was advice to a solemn Milly-Molly-Mandy, “There are nice things happening all the time, if you keep your eyes open to see them.”

Paired Passages by Timothy Rasinski and Lori Oczkus goes right along with developing grit. Their book uses Reciprocal Teaching or the ‘Fab Four’  to push student thinking. Research has found that students engaging in reciprocal teaching show improvement in as little as 15 days by eagerly engaging in discussions. The Fab Four… predict, clarify, question, and summarize are some gritty strategies indeed. Students read and reread the short fiction and nonfiction texts and practice with purpose!

I must send out a huge thank you to my students and parents that gave gift cards because that is what I used to purchase these little jewels! A book is a gift you can open again and again!

I’m off to work on improving my grit score as 2016 is in its eleventh hour and 2017 eagerly awaits to take the helm please join me on the journey!


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Top Five Christmas Treats


Twas the week before Christmas break and all through the school,
some distracted children were attempting to break every rule,
Thank goodness for the magic of reading, it carried us through
those difficult days of waiting for you know who…

Silver Packages was a jewel indeed,
the class sat spellbound and listened to me read,
Night Tree
kept their attention as well,
Eve Bunting had a fabulous story to tell,
Little Match Girl, a classic that encourages empathy x 10,
the class made connections again and again,
Mr. Willowby
helped to lighten the mood,
in this rhyming book we meet many a resourceful dude,
Too Many Tamales was a treasure for sure,
these books were the ultimate cure,

We also memorized A Visit from St. Nicholas and performed it many times without delay,
This narrative poem taught the class persistence as they practiced day after day,

In the blink of an eye the party day was here,
with a final performance for their parents so dear,

Then they played Christmas Scattergories and Taboo,
Then holiday good-byes were said crying boo hoo!

Finaly the time for rest, reflection, and rejuvenation is here,
Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year!!!