Saturday, December 6, 2014

Celebrate This Week!

Thanks to everyone who commented last week when I was struggling to celebrate...each comment helped so much. Thanks to Ruth for hosting this amazing community where we focus on the good in life. Please join us at Ruth's blog

Celebrations this week...

Monday brought me back to the classroom after NCTE and ALAN. I missed my students so much and returning with piles of books was amazing. 
Watching my students pour over the new books made my return even sweeter. We spent our day catching up, talking about books and authors and getting back to our normal. 

Tuesday brought my new ukelele. 
At ALAN I heard Mary Amato speak about music and writing. I'd read Guitar Notes and I loved it! She talked about how she learned to play guitar when she was 45 years old.  She played ten minutes a day...badly. In a few months, she saw progress. It made me think that I could do that. (I took lessons in the fourth grade for a few months before I quit and I always regretted it!) She signed my copies of her new book Get Happy and I asked her about learning the guitar in her forties. I told her that I'm thinking of trying it. She suggested the ukelele. We chatted for a bit and I dismissed it...until Cyber Monday (really Sunday). Shopping for gifts, I found a great uke for a huge discount! It's here. And I've already started to play badly. 


Wednesday brought time to slow down. I didn't have any meetings after school so I stopped at the grocery store and came home and cooked dinner. Taking time in the middle of the week to breathe and slow down helped me a lot. December can be such a crazy month with so much to do, it's vital to find time to stop and just be in the moment. I'm grateful that I took that chance on Wednesday. 

Thursday brought our second Twitter chat for Loudoun County educators. We discussed student engagement. Getting together to share ideas and learn from colleagues really inspires me! It was an amazing chat! Our next one will be on January 8th at 8pm EST. All are welcome!

Friday brought creative and interesting work from my students. I'll be honest, this happened all week long. We are about to start a group project so I wanted them to get some practice working together. I read them If I Were a Book. They wrote their own lines inspired from this text. Students were assigned groups and then wrote these creative collaborative poems using receipt tape (makes revision so simple). The poems were so good and the teamwork was even better! Certainly a hightlight of my week!


What are you celebrating this week?

12 comments:

  1. Oh! I've been playing my Grandmother's guitar. Badly. :) Enjoy this journey. I nearly majored in music in college. Maybe someday we can play together! What did you make for dinner on Wednesday? Thursday, I had the chance to make an apple-squash-cheddar soup. I do better cooking on the weekends. But it turned out okay! Tell your students, great work! These poems are great!

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    1. Haha! I'd love to play together some day! :) Thursday I made a simple chicken dinner. Nothing fancy, just yummy! Cooking on the weekends is certainly better!! I'll pass along your kind words to my students! :)

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  2. Oh I'm so happy you got a ukelele! I am embracing the playing badly on my piano right now too. The other day I played a piece for the first time I hadn't played in many years, and while it was fraught with wrong notes, I finally felt joy again while sitting at the piano. That hadn't happened in almost 15 years. It was glorious.

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    1. Beth, I know when I'm strumming the notes are off (not tuned yet) and I'm constantly messing up...but it is so much FUN!!! :) Glad you're experiencing the same thing on the piano!

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  3. I love your "If I Were A Book" project and most importantly the students' responses. WOW. Like all wonderful teachers, it is clear you get your energy renewed by their enthusiasm for learning.

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  4. Michelle, I love hearing about the ukelele, and that you're going for it! And the poems are great. I find so many uses for that kind of tape, but have never done a collaborative one like that. Thanks for the idea, and have a great next week!

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  5. If I were a Book is definitely coming to my classroom, Michelle. So happy that you got that ukelele - just like you to reach out and grab something happy to spread more happiness.

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  6. Those poems are fantastic. It's interesting to create something like that together. Have fun with that ukelele. :)

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  7. What fun learning how to play the ukelele! The book, If I Were a Book, looks fabulous and what a catalyst to some great writing. I will have to add that to my list. I love "I would uncork the bottle of knowledge." Have a great week and I can't wait to hear about those books you got from NCTE.

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  8. Look at those bags of books! Yippee. This "If I were a book" writing is incredible. Please pass on how fantastic these images are. Loved reading them!

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  9. Brave you getting a ukelele! I feel so beyond learning an instrument. You are an inspiration. And I love those lines from students. Mentor texts are so empowering.

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  10. Love the poem by your students.

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