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.

1 comment:

  1. Allie wrote:

    Although this seems like another classroom story....


    Hey Allie,

    First, I don't think I've had a chance to stop by your blog yet, but I love it! So glad that I found it in the Wonder Wake Spreadsheet, that's for sure. You are a great writer with an authentic voice and I dug reading this.

    And a nudge: You ended this piece with the quote that I pulled out in the opening of this comment. It felt in a way like you were saying, "I know, I know. This is just another classroom story I'm sharing" as if it were a BAD thing!

    The truth is that authentically told classroom stories are INVALUABLE. Not only are they a motivating reminder to YOU about the rewards that surround you, they are a motivating reminder to US that we should be on the lookout for those same kinds of rewards in our everyday teaching lives, too.

    The fact of the matter is that teaching can be a grind -- and in the moment, being discouraged is easy. What you've done here is shown us simple evidence that teaching is also a JOY almost every single day as long as we are willing to look for that joy around us.

    So don't ever apologize for sharing posts like these! We ALL need them. They sustain us like nothing else.

    Rock right on,
    Bill Ferriter