Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers

I worry a lot about teaching writing because I want learning to happen without erasing any joy. I want ideas to flow. I want enthusiasm to reign. I want doubts to stay far away. I want little writers to build their skills in a space that is safe. I want the idea of writing to become (or remain) a purely positive experience. Even if it’s hard. Even if it’s work. Even if we don’t have it all figured out.

I certainly don’t have it all figured out. Heck, I think I admit so frequently that I haven’t got a lot figured out that it might be time to really wonder about my credibility! BUT, I like to write about what I notice and sometimes it seems that there is enough great stuff happening right in front of me, that maybe I might have a thing or two to share. Lately, here’s what I have observed. We are growing writers. So far, it has been pretty organic. We aren’t bogged down in details and the “how to of it all” at this point.

We have jumped right in. We are immersing ourselves. We are beginning.

Here’s a peek into how:

There is daily time to read. Writers are readers. We need to give our reading writers time to fall into a story. There is so much learning happening when we let our students have time to read.

Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers

I read aloud often! Young writers need to be exposed to many, many read alouds. All different kinds of books shared with their classroom community. Picture books. Nonfiction picture books. Novels. Poetry. Writers definitely blossom in a room that celebrates stories.

Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers

read books that are specifically about writing. Writers need to talk and learn about the process. Picture books invite them to learn from characters who are also figuring it out.

Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers

I provide time to reflect and to write about what writing means. My students  acknowledge that the process takes some work.

Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers

Writing is honoured.

I often am reminded about how deeply children think about the writing process. I love how bravely my students write. It’s about ideas on a page. We don’t get obsessed about correct spelling or mistakes. We embrace our right to imagine and tell our stories.

Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers

I introduce students to authors – if in real life, all the better! Local author Bree Galbraith came and read her latest picture book to our classroom. Milo and Georgie got lots of love! And Bree fielded numerous questions in an engaging discussion about writing books, being a Mom, cat allergies, idea generating and favourite words.Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers

After getting some input from the students about some future and in-process stories, Bree got some spontaneous hugs!

Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers

I loved listening in on the stories being shared. Bree gave beautiful space to each child who shared with her.

Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers

Our book is now signed!

Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers

I encourage students to write to everyone for all kinds of reasons

A Guest Teacher might be coming? How about some welcome letters?

Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers

Our engineer helped us out with a new Food Waste bin. We all wrote him thank you notes.

Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers

That visiting author? We miss her already and couldn’t wait to write her letters.

Sunday Reflections: Growing WritersSunday Reflections: Growing Writers

Sunday Reflections: Growing Writers

A writing centre and materials for writing are must haves. Ours is a shelf full of paper, notepapers, pens and coloured pencils. We also bring out felt tipped pens to write with so that we can love our mistakes instead of erasing them. We write during Writing Workshop but students also write when they have free time, during choices time and even during the lunch hour. Many are collaborative stories with multiple authors and illustrators.

I was just gifted a The Kind Book co-written by three girls. Each page has one word and an illustration. Check out the rainbow end pages! These kids know books and no detail is missed.

Sunday Reflections: Growing WritersWe are about to make books to share what we have learned about insects. Once we’ve done a little more research, there will be art, poetry, facts and book love. Everyone is excited.

We can do this!

We are writers!

Sunday Reflections: Dear Blog Readers

Dear Blog Readers:

In the next while you might notice a few changes in some of my posts. While this is still a place I will continue to share a LOT of book love (including reviews, author/illustrator interviews, best of lists, weekly sharing of what I’m reading), you will now be getting a larger peek into my classroom.

Sunday Reflections: Dear Blog Readers

What’s ahead? More student book reviews, more classroom photos interspersed into my #IMWAYR posts, sharing of student writing especially in response to what we are reading and various other classroom celebrations of learning. This fall I considered beginning a second blog for classroom related things which felt a little bit overwhelming in terms of time. I then realized that much of our learning is connected to stories and literature and thus, this blog is the ideal location to share both our adventures in learning and our love of reading. I remembered this again reading my own words in this post: Honest truths, metaphorical whales and the “in between” place

” . . . through books we find most of the answers and all of the questions and that these beloved book makers, when they share, help to illuminate both. ”

“The honest truth? I am a reading teacher. And I have important work to do.”

For those of you new to this blog, I am sharing some posts below (follow the links) that give a flavour of my teaching philosophy, my thoughts about reading and what I celebrate in the realm of teaching and learning.

Our words, after all, tell our stories.

Here is mine.

Classroom communities are pretty incredible places. We spend a LOT of time together.

6 hours x 5 days x 10 months

“But when we experience classrooms – as in, occupy classrooms for those 6 hours x 5 days x 10 months, it is mostly about relationships. Because none of that other stuff happens without them. At least not as deeply, meaningfully and wonderfully as it could. And should.”

I believe in the importance of “kid watching” and talk more about it here: The power of observation

 “I need time to watch and interact and notice. I need to trust that I know what I am looking for and that I can make decisions to best guide the learning based on what I see.”

Some of the best observations happen, when there is time for play.

Capturing Play

“There is more and more research to support the benefits of play on the social emotional well being and cognitive development of our learners. In our quest for the most meaningful learning opportunities for our students, we need to make room for play.”

Every child matters.  Every child belongs. Some children especially need us to be welcoming and patient. I feel blessed to have learned from some pretty incredible children over the years.

The Part that is True

“When I look at Harry learning and laughing and taking more risks every day, I know that my job is not to bask in the happiness of his growth and success. My job is to pave the way for more of the same in his future.”

The Kid on the Piano

“I stand there and watch him for a minute.

Shining in the sunshine coming through the windows.

I see the bright energy return under those stormy eyebrows.”

Be Gentle

“Sometimes with all of the busy and all of the rushing and all of the stuff we have to do in schools, we can forget to be gentle. Sometimes gentle is the most important choice we make.”

The more I do this work, the more I realize that there is so much I don’t know. But every so often, I celebrate what I have learned.

20 years, 20 things

“Value community. We are one of many people teaching the children in our classrooms. Students come from varied, interesting and diverse backgrounds. Honour their parents. The extended families. The community that surrounds the school. Make connections to the key players – community centre staff, public library staff, recreation program staff, community health nurses, etc. We are all in this together.”

All my Secrets

“Know that you are present everyday for the amazing of childhood. Don’t try to chase it away or shake it out. Childhood is sad with snotty sobs. Silly with contagious laughter. Angry with stomps and hiding. Wild with wonder and delight. Full with the magic of the world.”

I also need community. Last March, I wrote about realizing I was beginning to find it in my new school.

Finding Community

” Numerous children are nameless to me but we smile at each other each time we pass in the halls. The names will come. The connections will grow. We will make some shared stories.”

Books are my thing. I love the land of stories, words and worlds I find in them.

I believe passionately in classroom libraries and blog about this frequently.

Books, books, books – everywhere you look

“Classroom libraries are like a living, breathing, ever-changing creature. They reflect the interests, the questions and the passions of the readers in the room.”

When I packed up and moved schools after 21 years, books grounded me: These Books

“In those times when I look up and remember that it’s all new and not yet home, these books will help me find my balance. Let me place two solid feet in the middle of it all.”

In the month of March, I write every day. Be warned now.

This Writing Thing

“Writing steals time. While you try to capture the world, some of it passes you by. You aren’t where you started. You don’t remember arriving here.”

Happy reading! Happy writing! Happy Sunday!

Sunday Reflections: 6 hours x 5 days x 10 months

Sunday Reflections: There's a Book for That

I have been teaching for more than two decades and I still find the whole concept of school completely fascinating. A number of children who share ages and stages but not necessarily experiences and values coming together to form quite intimate communities where they will spend hours together every day. They will take risks, navigate conflicts and learn beside, from and in spite of each other. The adults involved will teach, guide and facilitate, yes. But they will also take risks, navigate conflicts and do the same deep learning (or at least they should).

Just like we don’t choose our families, in many ways we don’t choose our teachers or our students. We find ourselves together and we muddle through, figuring lots out along the way. Really, we spend more active, awake, engaged time with each other in our classroom communities than we do with our own families at home. 5 days a week. 10 months of the year. 6 or more hours a day.

Yet, when we talk classrooms, we spend LOTS of time talking education and learning. Motivation. Engagement. Challenge. Barriers. Supports. Achievement. Enrichment. Skill building. Independence. Progress. On it goes. Current buzz words and the consistent tried and true vocabulary of education.

But when we experience classrooms – as in, occupy classrooms for those 6 hours x 5 days x 10 months, it is mostly about relationships. Because none of that other stuff happens without them. At least not as deeply, meaningfully and wonderfully as it could. And should.

Talking about relationships is complicated. There is not a curriculum guide, performance standard or professional read that is going to provide the “how to guide” for each particular group of students and teachers. Each year, in September, we begin figuring it out and when we say goodbye in June, those of us that are honest know – there is still much to learn.

If we did spend more time talking about relationships, we might spend more time on questions like:

  • What would be taught in Teacher Education about working with children? Not behaviour management but relationship dynamics and community building.
  • What professional learning opportunities would continue to be offered in districts that focused on social emotional learning and making connections?
  • What are the benefits of multi-age classes?
  • How could we set up a school where every teacher loops classes of children so that we all spend 2 years together? Is this good practice? And is it good for our students?
  • What are the most effective ways of building classroom communities – from the making of the class lists themselves to the way we begin our year together?
  • How do we extend those strong student-teacher connections to student- other adult connections throughout the school?
  • How do we encourage our learners to also be leaders and teachers?
  • How can strong classrooms be enhanced by strong school communities?
  • How can we build connections between classrooms?
  • How do we make it okay to talk about the fact that if the mandate of school is simply to provide an education, we have forgotten that we are educating people? And growing citizens? And making a culture of care the norm, not the exception?
  • What can and should a culture of care really mean?
  • Why is care not as important as standards?
  • How do we connect our communities to neighbourhood? To local and global initiatives?
  • How do we celebrate and make room for happiness?
  • What do we really value when we make decisions about children?

If we shared honestly and easily that building relationships and finding ways to work and learn together is where we really spend much of our time, would it be easier to share the challenges, the triumphs, and the worries?

Would we allow more time to connect throughout each day of the year and stop the mad dash curriculum racing so many feel pressured by?

Would we talk more openly about mental health? About stress? About trauma? About the barriers to learning that have nothing to do with learning itself and everything to do with our students’ capacity to manage in the world?

Would we more freely celebrate the things that we can’t measure on a test or a rubric? Like kindness and generosity. Compassion. Humility. Forgiveness. Trust. Happiness. Joy. And not as part of a token week, a flash mob event or a short lived theme. But anytime and any day that we see it?

Would we grant educators the time to address needs? Time to truly see children for who they are and what they are telling us with some of their unexpected and confusing behaviours? Would we put supports in place to allow us to be more responsive when we do uncover truths and hardships and struggles?

Not as stopping places. Not as excuses. But as starting places. So that we are building capacity, strengthening spirits and finding opportunities for children who need to heal to do just that as we also provide incredible situations where learning can flourish.

Classrooms. Places to be 6 hours x 5 days x 10 months. Classrooms are where we are figuring lots of life out. We’re supposed to be figuring out education. And we are. But, wow, wouldn’t it be great if we were also supported to do what we are already doing – figuring out each other? Who we are and who we want to be?

As people.

With people.

As we work amongst people for life?

Some of us stand tall in the land of relationships and shout about them and celebrate them. We talk about community. We honour it. We feel its weight and are lifted by its joy.

I love when teachers share about who their students are as they share about what their students learn. I want to hear it more often. I try to share, just this, in kind.

I am musing. And wondering. On a rainy Sunday.

Please join me and share your thoughts. Your musings. Your brilliance.

Sunday Reflections: Wolves and Wild Wishes

I just read The Wolf Wilder, the latest middle grade novel written by author Katherine Rundell. There was much I loved in this title: the adventure, the drama, the suspense. Most of all I loved the courage. This book was full of brave children. Heroism in small but mighty packages. I don’t want to give away plot points as this is a must read title, but I will say that children in this book amazed and impressed me. They embraced their fear. They rallied. They acted. They certainly weren’t perfect. There was lots of vulnerability. But the bravery reigned true.

Sunday Reflections: Wolves and Wild Wishes There's a Book for That

I loved the community of children here. The following of dreams. The simplicity of lessons from wolves. Be true. Protect the pack. Honour loyalty. Run fast. Sleep deep. Be resourceful.

This book made me think about how children often astound me. I witness daily moments of bravery. Moments that surprise me. Actions and wisdom I respect in the daily interactions I have with the students I teach.

Yes, I often worry. Sometimes a lot. I watch a lot of mistakes. I see habits and attitudes that are troubling and unhealthy. I witness trauma and all that is upsetting in its impact.

Feo, the main character in The Wolf Wilder worked to bring the wild back to domesticated wolves captured at birth and forced to lead ridiculous lives -in the homes of wealthy Russians. Wilding is really re-wilding. Bringing back what should not have been lost.

Sometimes, I feel that way about the children that I teach. Some of them need re-childing. I want to – in a sense – return childhood to children who have not had enough of it, who keep losing it to the impacts of poverty and related stress.

But everyday, I celebrate possibility. Brave children. Opportunities for everything that can be good. The joy and happiness of childhood.

It is the eve of return to school after a long winter break. I know many of our students eagerly anticipate the return to their school community. Some have mixed feelings – upset and anxiety related to a break that might not have been so pleasant. For some, the routine of bed times and early starts is challenging. But school means breakfast, lunch and important connections. I have loved my break but I am excited about a term full of rich learning and relationship building.

Sunday Reflections: Wolves and Wild Wishes There's a Book for That

And I have some wishes. Some wild ones. Wild because they won’t all happen. The big wish of course, is that these would all be in the realm of realistic. Easily possible. Our world is built for that. Yet, here I am. Wishing.

For each of my students, I wish for security.  I hope that they will each find numerous adults at school ready, willing and able to meet them where they are at. I hope that they feel loved, wanted and precious. I want them to experience 24 hours of care and nurturing. 24 hours of every day. I hope that they won’t experience some things we should be able to protect them from. Hunger, for instance. The longing for a warm bed. I wish them freedom from adult worries.

I also wish for some amazing learning. That they will learn something they never believed to be true. That they will learn something they never thought they could learn. That they will learn something not yet imagined. I hope that all of this learning will be inspirational and give them new faith in their own possibilities. And belief in the possibilities the world has for them.

I wish that each child will become more comfortable taking risks. That each child will become better at speaking up and listening closely. I hope that each child will learn something significant from a peer. I wish that each child will deliver a sincere apology and accept one. More than once. These children have much to teach each other.

I wish that each child I teach will feel brave. Know trust. Experience huge joy.

These are my 2016 wishes. Inspired by wildish wolves and brave children.

Here is to the possibility of 2016.

Sunday Reflections: The power of observation

Certain things about common teacher practices upset me. I hear particular statements and shake my head. Braver me should say something on the spot. That isn’t always easy. I’m not always brave. I should be because those statements don’t leave me. They stick in my head and I fret. I worry. I wonder. Couldn’t we, shouldn’t we be doing better for the students we teach?

What am I currently concerned about? Teachers talking about “assessment” and gathering “data” in the first week of school. Sometimes on the first day. Writing samples collected in quiet rooms with the timer on. Spelling tests. Pages of math “testing” to see what students know or remember. Again, administered quietly. No talking. Reading and answering questions to determine “a level” or placement in a group. I could begin ranting. What about building relationships and community? Is this a good use of time when students are still readjusting to “back to the classroom.”  What truly useful information is gathered from these activities given at this time? What, really, is this going to help you do that will benefit students?

But ranting does not move us forward.

Instead, I would like to suggest something simple. Watching. Noticing. Interacting. Paying attention. Yes, we need information about who are students are and what they need in order to best meet their needs, but how we find that information matters.

In my primary classroom, by just observing students during five different activities, I can learn so much. In the first few weeks, I observe.

When I read aloud, I pay attention to:

 Sunday Reflections: The power of observation There's a Book for That

  • Who sits where and why?
  • How much physical space and how much opportunity to move does each child need?
  • Who likes the interactive read aloud experience?
  • Who dislikes interruptions and needs “flow”?
  • Who has listening stamina? How much?
  • Who respects the listening space of others?
  • Who is an active participant in discussions related to what we are reading? Who needs some encouragement? Who needs additional processing time?
  • What kind of story sense does each child have?
  • What kind of comprehension strategies are utilized (predicting, making connections, asking questions, inferring, etc.)
  • What background knowledge on certain topics do students seem to have?

When it is independent reading time, I pay attention to:

 Sunday Reflections: The power of observation There's a Book for That

  • How much reading stamina does each child have?
  • Who is a confident reader?
  • Who finds reading challenging?
  • Who needs a lot of support on their journey to becoming a reader?
  • Who has knowledge of a variety of authors/illustrators/series?
  • Do students have knowledge about different genres?
  • Who has well developed personal preferences with reading material?
  • Who reads widely?
  • Who can self select “good fit” reading material?
  • How does each child respond to recommendations?
  • Who takes suggestions of what to read from peers? Who offers suggestions?
  • Who is influenced by what his/her peers are reading?
  • Who wanders and needs redirection?
  • Who can read quietly? Who mumbles? Who needs to read aloud?
  • Who seeks buddy reading opportunities/
  • Who seeks out an adult to read to?
  • How actively does each child engage in reading conversations with peers? with adults? during conferences?

When I ask students to talk with each other, I pay attention to:

 Sunday Reflections: The power of observation There's a Book for That

  • Who follows directions about “turn and talk” expectations?
  • Who can talk with anyone? Who wants to talk with an adult beside them? Who only wants to talk with friends or classmates he/she knows?
  • Who can listen carefully?
  • Who can share easily and with confidence?
  • Who can offer a different opinion/perspective?
  • Who can add to what a peer has said?
  • Who can ask questions of a peer? Answer questions from a peer?
  • Who needs adult prompts and frequent feedback?
  • Who grows when feedback is given either individually or to the group?
  • Who listens when peers are sharing out to the group?
  • Who can say something different or add to what a peer has said during sharing out?
  • Who tends to only repeat what someone else has said?
  • Who is comfortable sharing a different opinion in front of the whole group?
  • Who wants to share out (is an eager participant)?
  • Who will share out when called on?
  • Who is reluctant to talk in front of a whole group?

When a math problem is proposed, I pay attention to:

IMG_0480

  • Who likes to work independently?
  • Who prefers to work with a partner? Or a small group?
  • Who is a self starter?
  • Who takes risks?
  • How persistent is each learner?
  • Can each child refer to a class demonstration or chart for support?
  • What kind of materials does a child like to use?
  • Who is willing to try a variety of strategies?
  • What does “frustration” look like for each child? How quickly do students get to the frustration point? What happens when they do?
  • Who seeks peer feedback?
  • Who can take redirection from a peer?
  • Who seeks adult affirmation? feedback? support?
  • Who wants to share?
  • Who likes to peer teach? Who is really good at it? Who is developing skills to take a leadership role?
  • What kind of number sense does each child have?
  • What number concepts does a child need to have more success?

When it is free choice/play time, I pay attention to:

 Sunday Reflections: The power of observation There's a Book for That

  • Who likes to do things independently? With one other child? In a small group?
  • Who is a starter? Who is a joiner?
  • What kind of creative ideas emerge during play?
  • How long can each child sustain attention with one activity?
  • Who solves social problems independently? Who immediately seeks adult help?
  • Do children tend to “tell on” or ask for help when having problems with a peer?
  • Who is willing to accept criticism?
  • Who is trusted to play fairly? When cheating happens in a game, what does that look like?
  • Who is a floater? Who tends to stay connected to particular peers?
  • When a child leaves a situation where there has been conflict, what does that look like?
  • Who can problem solve in the moment? Who needs cool off time?
  • How do we manage and give apologies? How do we handle forgiveness?
  • What kind of safe or calm places do we need in the room to support upset?
  • What kind of questions and wonders come out of play that we should pursue?

While my students have been engaging in everyday learning experiences and while they are learning and building skills, I also am learning and thinking about what’s next. I don’t need to write every single thing I see down. I don’t need something on paper as proof. I need time to watch and interact and notice. I need to trust that I know what I am looking for and that I can make decisions to best guide the learning based on what I see. This will be with individual students and whole class trends. Sometimes I am surprised. Even confused or worried. But this will lead me to more watching, to asking questions, to seeking support.

The wonderful thing about observation? I can gather information all day, every day as we continue to engage in our daily learning. The power of observation. Over time. In many different activities. With children we know and have relationships with. It gives us so much more than any paper and pencil task will ever do.

We don’t need to fill our first weeks with students with assessments. We need to let the learning begin. Everything we need to know is happening right in front of us if we just pay attention.

What do you learn when you take the time to notice?

Sunday Reflections: Goals for my Readers

Sunday Reflections: Goals for my Readers There's a Book for That

One thing that became very clear to me in May was that assessment that has to be done for the sake of files, records and funding often makes me frustrated. But this is not a post about the assessment that I must do. Instead, I want to think about the goals I have for my students as readers so that I can be clear about certain things.

What am I looking for when I observe my students in the first few weeks?

How does what I see along with the goals I have shape directions for teaching and learning?  

What ongoing data do I need to measure how individual students are progressing?

What is the best data/assessment to use for this purpose?

What can we celebrate?

What is really important?

How does our reading community support the readers in the room?

Sunday Reflections: Goals for my Readers There's a Book for That

My Teacher Librarian and I work together daily in my classroom during Reading Workshop. We met in early June and made a list of goals to guide us in working with a new group of readers (likely a Grade 2/3 class) in the fall. We didn’t start with curriculum guides or performance standards. Instead, we started with our collective experience (over 20 years each) and sense of what our little readers and learners need.

Some of these things will happen early on in the year and some will develop over the course of the year. Of course, individual students will progress at their own rates.

This is our list with a few additions and a little tweaking. Of course, many things will happen in our literacy learning but this list should help keep us on track and allow us to continue to respond to the changing needs of our students.

Our goals for our readers? 

Each reader will . . .

  • self-identify as a reader
  • have a passion for books and literacy experiences
  • be able to independently read/interact with text for at least 15 minutes and build his/her reading stamina over the course of the year
  • be able to distinguish between fiction and nonfiction texts
  • be able to use the features in nonfiction texts to obtain information
  • have an understanding of genres
  • be able to self-select “good fit” texts for independent reading (thinking about interests and levels)
  • develop listening stamina and active listening skills
  • be able to talk about books and participate in learning conversations in partner, small group and whole class discussions
  • be able to share an opinion about what we are reading together and what he/she is reading independently
  • develop a variety of strategies to make meaning
  • be able to demonstrate comprehension through retelling, identifying the main idea and summarizing key points
  • use a variety of comprehension strategies (i.e. visualizing, inferring) when reading
  • read widely as well as develop a growing repertoire of favourite authors, genres, series, etc.
  • use a variety of strategies to figure out unknown words
  • make progress along a continuum in terms of being able to read at grade level. For our more vulnerable readers, reasonable goals can be set and more intense one to one time provided in the context of Reading Workshop. For our other readers, we hope that each child will be reading at or above grade level by the end of the year.
  • make time to read at home

Sunday Reflections: Goals for my Readers There's a Book for That

Obviously, our goals are shaped by the ages and stages of our students. What are your goals for the readers in your room this year? I’d love to hear!

Sunday Reflections: Ten things I will do again this school year

I don’t own boxes of themed units. I barely have any files. I don’t like to repeat things. New students. New year. New place in my learning. New world. All of this new always leads to different things every year. But some things are worth repeating because they will benefit a new group of students as much, albeit differently, as a previous group.

What ten things will I be doing again/continuing this year?

Buddy Reading with the kindergarten class

This is time that is pure joy. My students get to be literacy leaders. I smile through the entire experience each week.

Sunday Reflections: Ten things I will do again this school year There's a Book for That

Games Hour

Every week we have Games Hour (really about 40 minutes) and bring out games that we don’t play with at any other time of the week. We work on perseverance, turn taking, leadership skills, cooperation and patience.

Sunday Reflections: Ten things I will do again this school year There's a Book for That

Hosting another class from a different school

What great learning happened when we invited a K class from another school to spend almost an entire day with us. We did yoga, art, outside play and buddy reading. Thank you Ms. Hales! I hope she will visit with her new class this year!

Sunday Reflections: Ten things I will do again this school year There's a Book for That

Daily play and exploration

Keva blocks frequently come out during this time. As do various other building materials, art supplies and multiple games. We do a lot of building and exploring, tower making and imaginative play.

Sunday Reflections: Ten things I will do again this school year There's a Book for That

Mock Caldecott

This was such an amazing unit and I can’t wait to do it again this year. We read. We wrote. We raved. We talked. A LOT!

Sunday Reflections: Ten things I will do again this school year There's a Book for That

Camp Read

This was a school wide event and I would love to be a part of the organizing committee again. A highlight of our day was having our school secretary come in and read to us.

Sunday Reflections: Ten things I will do again this school year There's a Book for That

Time in the forest

Lucky us that St George’s Outdoor Education students invited us to come and spend the morning with them in the forest near UBC a few times this year. Outside experiences are so important. I am planning for many more next year.

Sunday Reflections: Ten things I will do again this school year There's a Book for That

Yoga: Inside the room

Our lovely Miriam leads us through regular yoga experiences.

Sunday Reflections: Ten things I will do again this school year There's a Book for That

and yoga outside of the room

Our favourite thing is to get outside to do yoga!

Sunday Reflections: Ten things I will do again this school year There's a Book for That

Let’s Talk Science activities

We have the best Let’s Talk Science volunteers. We are sure hoping that Lisa and Nelly will return and do hands on science with us again next year!

Sunday Reflections: Ten things I will do again this school year There's a Book for That

Inviting in guests to share their passions

BLG readers who share stories. Ms. Sheppet who shared a geocaching experience. Eric Balke who talked to us about his time in with orangutans in Indonesia.  Poet and artist Calef Brown who shared his writing process with us. I so want my students to be passionate about what they do and meeting adults who are passionate about their interests, hobbies and careers is amazing!

Sunday Reflections: Ten things I will do again this school year There's a Book for That

What will remain part of the learning experiences in your room for 2015/2016?