Sunday, December 11, 2016

For the Love of Literacy

I know, long time no blog post.  I took 2 classes for grad school this semester and it kept me extremely busy.  However, the semester ended last week and I have a break until mid-January.  I wanted to share a story from last week.

In math my class is working on composing and decomposing teen numbers.  Since my class has been talking a lot about kindness and giving back this month, I asked students to illustrate what they would give someone and have the quantity be a teen number.  I also gave my students a sentence starter for a writing component: I want to give (teen number)__________ to ____________.
One example I included is if my friend doesn't like chocolate chip cookies, would it make sense to give that to them?  No.  Even though there are things that we like personally, we need to consider what would make an impression on the person we are giving to.  We brainstormed more ideas of what we could give someone then I sent students off to work.  I figured students would illustrate for their parents or peers, but my prediction was proven wrong pretty quickly.

As I walked around the classroom, I notice students illustrating what they would give me.  That was very sweet, yet I was more surprised to discover what students wanted to give me.  Once the timer went off, we gathered at our carpet to share.  The 5 students who wanted to give something to me, they illustrated books.  I asked a student why they wanted to give me books and they responded by saying, "because you love books".  I followed up by asking what I enjoy about books and students stated that I love reading.

Although this seems like another classroom story, it was a shining moment.  Students see and hear everything we do.  Let your passions shine.  Everyday I make it a priority to give my students time to read as well as allowing them time to book shop.  I also read to my students every day.  All of this shows my students that reading is a lifelong habit and I want it to be fun.  Although December can be a challenging month, slow down and appreciate the small moments with your students.