Thank you for coming to my sessions! I have a lot uploaded already, but I need to upload information from several sessions. My dad and I had a wonderful time tonight, and we're so excited to see the Grand Canyon tomorrow. I have two math sessions on Friday and plans Friday night. My goal is to upload everything while I'm traveling home on Saturday. If you need something sooner, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd love to stay in touch on Twitter. If you follow me, I'll follow you back.
Morning Message Ideas:
*For K-1, consider writing each sentence in a different color of marker so students can see when sentences start and stop. :)
Extending the morning message idea came from the book, Beyond Morning Message by Valerie Schifferdanoff.
I have so many wonderful memories from my time in New Orleans this week. It was fun seeing old friends and making new ones!
I ended up having a fun night out with friends which means I didn't get my work done, but it'll be here tomorrow. I leave for the airport first thing tomorrow, so I'm hoping to upload everything while I'm waiting to fly home. Check back ... I haven't forgotten.
Thanks for coming to my sessions, and stay in touch. Email if you need anything: email@example.com.
Haha -- this video always makes me laugh out loud. Seriously.
I teach with Emalie Lindsey, and she said, "You HAVE to show this video to your class. It's the best worst video ..." I'm glad I listened to her!
So many of Mr. DeMaio's words were repeated in my classroom -- all year long. Plus, the students learned the location of all of the continents. EVERY time my students heard the word Africa, they broke out in song.
Here are some one-liners that are simply forever stuck in my head ...
"Seven, seven, seven on a hot dog seven ..."
"Top bunk, bottom bunk ..."
"You're up ... like you're up..."
Once you watch it, you'll understand. This may be my all-time favorite teaching video. Just remember, you've been warned -- this may just be the best worst video you've ever seen.
The Writer's Workshop framework is my favorite way to teach writing, and it's so easy to do! You simply model a mini-lesson (write aloud) for about 10 minutes a day -- allowing one minute per year of age is a good rule to follow for the mini-lesson time. Then, students write. While they're writing, you confer with them.
I like to pull about six students to my table at a time. I ask each one to share something with me, and I use that writing in our conference. The other students are writing while they're waiting, but they're listening too.
Below is a 30 second excerpt of a three minute conference. Before you guide a student to fix something, be sure to say something nice about their writing. This is a great time to strengthen relationships with students.
Try to guide students to fix their own mistakes, and don't correct everything on the page. The only time I correct everything is for a focused piece that I'm assessing for grade-level work.
Feel free to comment with any questions you have. Some students learn to read by reading. Some students learn to read by writing, and some students learn to read through word work. It's important to include all three components in your English/Language Arts block.
I'm on Day 2 of Summer Break, and my mind is already spinning with ideas for next year. I just finished my 25th year teaching -- there was a time I thought I would take early retirement and finish out my career presenting full-time. Now that the time has actually arrived where that could be a possibility, I can't imagine leaving a job I love, and I'm nowhere ready (or old enough - ha!) to retire. I've been blessed to have the opportunity to present in 35 states and two other countries AND to work for a school district that allows me the opportunity to present and teach simultaneously.
If you're in the New Orleans or Las Vegas area this summer, I hope you can come to one of my sessions. When presenting, my primary goal is to empower teachers to be effective without living at school. We can do our job well and have a life too.
Presenting is my part-time job, so I spend the summer preparing to present. That also gets me ready for a new school year and helps you too because I'll post everything I do here. I front-load my year so I can leave after the buses on most days. For real -- we can leave at 4:10 each day, and generally, that's when I do, and I rarely take work home.
I was bound and determined to finish the 2018 year without crying. My class agreed not to talk about the last day of school even though we did an ABC countdown. The countdown gave them something to look forward to every day, and we talked about the happy/sad ending to the year. At morning meetings, students could share a high/low for the day. Many students would say, "I can't share my low..." Three or four students later, someone would say their low was that school was almost over, and the whole class would pretend to cry.
When the last day finally arrived, we were busy cleaning out desks, playing in water, and just enjoying school. They went to lunch and had just a few minutes to spare before the dismissal ritual began. I told them to enjoy summer, that they would always be my 2nd graders, and that they were always welcome to come back to visit me. Then, they got their normal high fives, fist bumps, or hugs at the end of the day.
As we were walking down the hall to the buses, I noticed one of my girls had her head down where I couldn't see her eyes. What I saw was gigantic tears splashing on her t-shirt. This is the same girl who wrote a "You Rock" note to be read aloud to the entire school just a few days before. The note said something like, "Mrs. Dick rocks because she makes me feel smart." I did my best not to cry, but I wrapped this little girl in a hug and cried too.
We spend a year with these littles and fall in love with them a little more each day. Then, we send them on to be loved by someone else knowing that they'll always have a special place in our hearts.
There's so much more to teaching than teaching. It's about empowering students to feel smart so they can conquer the world. It's about building relationships with the students and among the students. Kids need to play. Kids need to be loved. Kids need to know that they matter. Yes, they need to read and do math too, but it's so much easier to teach when their basic needs are being met.
We are making a difference in the lives of children. What we do matters. I hope you take time to reflect, renew, and rejuvenate this summer. August will be here before we know it.
Be sure to check back to my blog. I'll be updating the posts below this one over the next few weeks. If you need information sooner, email me or comment below.