Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Julie, of Faulkner's Fast Five, for her new series Friday Flashback to reflect back on this crazy, snowy month.
2. The weather forced us to get really creative as far as finding ways to keep things rolling with classes that we were just getting to know. The first of semester is an important time for establishing routines and expectations, yet our only routine was that school was getting cancelled! Luckily, I have a class website, so I could give my students work every day (boy, were they impressed...). One of the days that we were actually in school this week, I offered to teach a group of teachers how to use Google Drive, so they could keep their students on track too. I blogged about using it earlier this month, so if you'd like more info for your own snowy days, check it out here.
3. Early in the month, my husband and I got a lovely surprise in the mailbox. Our daughter, who is away at university, sent us a four page, hand-written letter! I don't think I've gotten a letter like that since I was in university. We were touched at such a thoughtful gesture on her part. We're used to one line texts, and an occasional FaceTime session, so it meant a lot that she would take the time to sit down and actually pen a letter (with soooo much information). It was such a gift.
4. A big project has begun at our school. We are trying to light a match under our charges and teach them to be a little more gritty. We are finding that they give up way too easily and are ok with passing in work that is just not good enough. Just not their best. So we are launching a campaign that promotes grit and resiliency. This starts, of course, with teachers. If we accept work that is not complete, with blank answers and underdeveloped paragraphs, then we are part of the problem. So, the hope is that if we all work together and make hard work a priority, then everyone will win. As part of out "campaign" we are using posters and anchor charts to remind students to do their best.
5. Finally, on one of those days that I had with my lovely new students, we started to assemble their reader's notebooks. I've never used them quite like this before and am so excited about the possibilities. I don't have time for all of the cutting and pasting of many of the interactive notebooks out there, but I did want to help them create something that would be personal, fun and easy to use. Most importantly, I wanted them to be a place that they could independently reflect on the texts they are reading. I don't do "chapter questions" and work hard to get them to analyze the works on their own, without me telling them what to look for. I can't wait to get more time with my class so we can really dig into these.
So, happy March to all of you! May you have a lot of sun shining through those snowy tunnels. The tulips and daffodils will be here soon. Hang on.