Celebration: The Ups

It’s December weeks before the holiday break. Lots of people are sick. Stress levels, excitement levels, anxiety levels all peaking. Not everything is smooth sailing. There are ups and there are downs and not a lot of in the middle sailing along.

So “the ups” feel a little more precious.

This is what I celebrate this week. Those moments that I wanted to tangibly capture in my arms and whirl about. The quick instances and the longer, in it, “grooves” that we managed.

All that was good and kept me smiling at the end of every day.

Because, really, I so love what I do.

I celebrate the moments of buddy reading with the K class. This happens Wednesday afternoon but those little Ks light up every time they see my class in the hall. This week I just stood in awe and watched the singing, the story telling, the chanting, the guessing and all of the literacy connections happening.

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

I celebrate that during our Turn and Talk discussions (all about predictions and wonders) for our new nonfiction title: Eye to Eye: How Animals See The World by Steve Jenkins one child whispered to me:

“Ms. Gelson we’ve only read half a page and already we know so much!”

I was impressed that my students could come up with so many details on how different animals rely on vision to go about their daily lives.

eye to eye Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

I celebrate that math looks like this: engaged, confident, excited.

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

I celebrate that one little reader who used to be up and wandering last year in Reading Workshop is now firmly planted in his favourite spot at the carpet and reading his way through the Henry and Mudge series. Hurrah when a reader finds the fit!

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

I celebrate Monster Art. Students took their monster characters and “shrunk” them and then “built them a house.” I especially celebrate the fact that my students pick up a felt (or crayon or pastel) and just draw. The risk taking of no pencils first is a wonderful thing!

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

This one worked right side up or upside down. I celebrate unique perspective!

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

I celebrate munching on cheese strings and mandarin oranges while writing “commitment notes” to join a Junior Book Club we are forming.

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

And always, I celebrate all of the moments of book love that infuses everything we do:

The engagement while reading favourite authors

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

The little one who “sneaked” our poetry title to read on her own “I didn’t read ahead. I just read the favourite parts so far.” Joyce Sidman has us entranced on a regular basis!

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

The growing confidence we share in Reading Workshop book talking favourite picture books to each other. It’s a process. We’re getting there. But it all begins with the exciting flash of the favourite illustration.

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

The devotion to favourite authors embedded in this book review. (Look midway down the page)

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

I celebrate all of these moments. I especially celebrate that if I now tried to make a list of the “downs” of the week, it just really doesn’t matter. Mostly, I’ve already forgotten. Because, really, wow, look at what we’ve got going on!

Thank you so many times to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community! Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks. Read all of the celebrations by following the links shared here.





14 thoughts on “Celebration: The Ups

  1. Holiday stress? yes. Sickness at school? yes.
    But celebrating, yes!
    I love how you get those little thoughts down that kids say about their reading. I would like to try and do that more. New Year’s resolution???

  2. “Not a lot in the middle sailing along,” but so glad you shared the “ups” of your week with us. Love the pic of the student who sneaked the poetry title so she could read her favorite parts so far! Just looking at the picture sent me to my bookshelf for What the Heart Knows so I can reread my favorite parts. I want to borrow your idea for book talking that begins with the FLASH of a favorite illustration. I learn so much from my blogging friends!

    • Isn’t that a cute photo? I love how keen my students are to just sit and listen to poetry! Sidman is brilliant. Borrow away. We are practicing the “flash” and then turn knee to knee and talk for a minute about your favourite illustration and then listen to your partner. Moving on to other “starters” like “Let me tell you about this character . . . ” and “I give this book a –/5 rating because . . .” Slowly but surely.

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