Ode to Spring Break!

Nothing is as sweet as you.

I welcome you as you arrive and

relish the thought that you’ll be here for

nine more days.

Ah, yes, nine more days.

Every year I look forward to our time together.

I’ve planned what I’ll do while you are here.

The visions have danced and danced in my head.

I thought your arrival would never come.

It has. Yes, it has.

Reunited and it feels so good.

Storybirds- Story of Growing Success

As part of my fiction unit, I decided to create class accounts on Storybird, a site used for writing stories using artwork different artists contribute to the site.  I hoped the online writing component would engage my sixth grade writers, especially since there would also be a visual component for learners who work better with pictures; images; and visual media, but I certainly did not guess the kids would like Storybird as much as they do!  They come into class asking if we’re going to the computer lab to work on more Storybirds and they’ve started commenting on each other’s writing, since the site allows readers to respond to the stories created on the site.  Last night as I was monitoring student comments (I was clear about making sure to be respectful and supportive but still feel I should check comments to be sure), I came across this little snatch of conversation…

Student 1:  really good story

Student writer: thanks [classmate’s name]!!!
Student 2: Very cute! I like the idea for that story!
Student writer: Thanks [classmate’s name]!! hey im having trpuble coming up with other ideas for another story do you guys have any ideas?
 

Okay, I noticed that the students were not watching their conventions, but something big was happening here…. The student writer who was getting the comments about her work reached out to her peers for more writing ideas!

I felt really proud of my writer for generating an open forum that would help her start a list of ideas she could use to keep her writing going, especially since this young writer sometimes has trouble with getting her writing work started.  If Storybird work keeps going in such a positive direction, I might work Storybird into poetry or other writing we can do in May 🙂

Movies…

I’m officially one day away from the beginning of spring break!  Tonight I’ve made a list of movies I plan to enjoy during my week of freedom and relaxation.  I just hope most of these have been released on DVD by now…

1. My Week with Marilyn

2. War Horse

3. The Descendants

4. The Tree of Life

5. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

6. The Lorax

7. The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo

8. American Teacher

9. Waiting for Superman

10. The Iron Lady

I hope all the teachers/fellow slicers who are also looking forward to a spring break will enjoy the time they have to relax and be with family 🙂

The Wait Is Over!

In mid-February I applied for a Teachers College Writing Institute. I received an automatic response that informed me I would be notified about my acceptance in about three to four weeks. The weeks went by with me checking my email over and over again, searching for an answer.  Would I be able to return to the Writing Institute this year?  I thought I would never find out (bit dramatic, I know), but soon good news arrived!  Yes, I’ve been accepted.  Ever since I’ve learned about the Writing Institute I have been attending every summer, thanks to a supportive administration that helps make my attending the institute possible. I’ve learned so much by attending the institute, and I see myself growing as a teacher of writing thanks to all the knowledge I’ve gained.  So I’m excited to return like an open vessel, ready to take in more knowledge that will lead me and my students to grow more as writers. I’m counting the days until I to return to NYC 🙂

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One of My Faves… Dancing with the Stars

When I taught high school English, my colleagues and I used to have a Dancing with the Stars betting pool.  I wasn’t an avid watcher of the show but I joined the pool anyway. I soon became a fan. Five years later, I’m still watching, and I even got my husband watching with me. That is until the season Donnie Osmond won.  Donnie Osmond’s TV personality annoys my husband to no end.  He was really rooting against Osmond and was left in utter disappointment in the finale when he was announced the trophy winner. Hence, tonight I sit alone, watching the new contestants cut a rug with their talented professional dancers. This year, I am rooting for William Levy and the opera singer girl.  1) Levy is gorgeous!  If I were a judge, I’d give him the trophy because I’d be too bewitched by his looks 2) My second choice for a winner is more based on talent.  I just can’t believe how well the opera singer (I couldn’t remember her name because I was probably salivating over Levy) can dance already.  Wondering if she has dance experience in her background… Back to the show.

Writing Gallery- Successful Ending

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The crowds at our Fine Arts Showcase were great today. I put together the slideshow in this entry using some of the pictures I took over the weekend. Teachers, parents, and community members did a great job coming together to celebrate our students’ talents and accomplishments. We’re already brimming with ideas for next year and discussing ways to continue working on sharing all the great work that’s done at our school.

Of course, with all our great efforts to put together events like the Fine Arts Showcase comes great exhaustion. Yes, I’m feeling great exhaustion but I’m still content. I reached two of my biggest goals this weekend- finishing strong with a first-time writing gallery and submitting my report card grades earlier than usual. All before the evening begins! Yes, I do still have way too much laundry and my lesson planning left to do today , but I can handle that. No problem.