Thursday, February 4, 2016

Two Hoots & A Holler: Proud Moments

Hoot #1
Our writer's workshop is finally in full swing!  We discovered a couple of years ago that we have a lot more success with writer's workshop if we wait until after Christmas to begin.  This allows them time to understand letters, sounds, and the concept of writing better.  Our students have taken off with writing, and ask for it every day!  We call it WOW (work on writing) time.  We are so impressed at the stories our students are writing.  Students have a writing folder that holds their stories and Writer's Toolbox.  They love using their toolbox to help them with their writing.  The toolbox is just a file folder with a word wall, fab 5 rules for writing, and an alphabet line to help them remember letter formation and sounds.  Take a look at some pictures of it in action in our classroom...

 They are writing for a whole 15 minutes and staying focused the entire time!  This is only the second day of our writer's workshop! 

 I haven't done a mini lesson on adding details yet, but the picture above shows an awesome picture that this student has drawn.  He is writing about the three little pigs...and of course his story began with "wonsuponatim"! 

 During conferencing, some students needed help with putting words on their paper.  Some are very hesitant at first, and need a little push.  I remind them there is no wrong way, and it is their story.  They told me what they wanted to write, and I drew lines for each word to help them put their thoughts on the paper.  By the end, they had their story written!  Talk about a feeling of success!  They were so proud of their work, they are wanting to share it already!

 This little guy is on his fifth page of his story!  He told me that he needed me to staple it together for him so he could read it to the class like I read books to them!  I couldn't be any more proud of all of their accomplishments! 

Hoot #2
We live in a world where children go to bed hungry and scared. In a world where some days there truly is more testing than teaching.  There are really days that we are tired. There is more paperwork than time in the day. Competition between teachers is actually something that exists, and the petty whispers can be heard in the halls. You all know what I am talking about. We have all been there.
BUT THEN.........
 You shut your door and it's just you and your students. They are smiling.  They are excited to be with you. They can not wait to hear about all of the new things that you are going to show/teach them. They feel safe...They feel loved. You want to give them your best because they deserve it and nothing less. In just the past 6 months, they have thrived.  They have become independent. They only see the importance of your smile and approval. It makes all of the "ugly stuff" disappear. Doesn't it? 
 These two are spending their free center time reading in our reading loft!
My heart smiles when I can get to see this! It somehow makes it all worth it. Doesn't it? 
I say all of this, to let every teacher know that YOU are enough. YOU are more than enough.  YOU are the world to your students. You may feel buried under all of the "junk", but your students see YOU standing on mountains. 
Keep doing what you are doing!! Don't get discouraged when you are buried under paper work, when you feel like you have nothing left to give, or when you feel as though you do not fit in anymore.  Instead, remember your students' smiles and the impact YOU have made on their lives....and then realize that YOU are AWESOME!

This Week's Holler...
 This week's holler goes out to Anita Goodwin at I Live 2 Learn I Love 2 Grow:  Learning and Growing in Second Grade.  She has some awesome ways to use technology in the classroom!  She shares her ideas on how to use Classroom Dojo, Book Creator, Brain Pop Jr., Pic Collage, and so much more!  It is amazing what her class does with their IPads.  Go check her blog out, and grab some of her awesome ideas!  
ilive2learn ilove2grow

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