Celebrate this week: Of books, Twitter, and learning

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Celebrate with Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes  …. because, we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get!

Another busy week has flown past, and I can hardly believe that next week marks the end of our first semester.  Half of our sixth grade year is over…have we accomplished anything real and meaningful together?  I think these are the questions teachers never really stop asking themselves – where has the time gone? what have we done? will we ever get it all done? what is “it all” anyway?

But, thanks to Ruth and my Celebrate! community, today is for taking a deep breath, looking at the week that was, and celebrating a bit. So here goes:

We moved along with our informational writing unit this week, researching and trying to figure out how to do this effectively.  I’ve been working with some new ideas from Ralph Fletcher, and relying on what I’ve learned from Chris Lehman’s Energize Research Reading and Writing to bring some oomph! to this process.  Mostly, I’m trying to let my students’ own curiosity in their topics drive the way forward.  And, this is not easy to do.  Our Exploratory Notebooks are beginning to look a bit worse for the wear, and I’m taking this as a good sign – they are being used!  On Thursday evening, I set some time aside to learn from Chris himself, which turned out to be a wonderful move.  One can never learn enough from Chris Lehman, and I celebrate that!

We began a fabulous readaloud this week: Susan Ross’ Kiki and Jacques, which I had reviewed here and had been really looking forward to sharing with my students. Through GoogleMaps and  photographs, we arrived at a visual “fix” for the settings of this book – Lewistown, Maine and Somalia  and thought through some of the issues we’d need to keep in mind as we read:

So, I celebrate continuing the readaloud  in room 202…and the idea of reading a book together, sharing its world, and learning from it.

Yesterday, we celebrated #5BookFriday – my kids love sharing their books this way, and I love the way their voices have grown in confidence since the beginning of the year, they are empowered by book love, and that is a glorious thing to see:

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And yesterday, we launched our Twitter page and began Tweeting authors.  Cynthia Lord, bless her generous heart, Tweeted back.  Let’s just say that the whole classroom stopped short and gaped when we saw THAT Tweet ping through!

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So, I celebrate Twitter and the power of sharing what we read and connecting to our favorite authors.

Finally, I celebrate winter at our farm – so far away in fact, and always so close in spirit.  I love our farm, I hope it is faring well as snow falls and cold winds blow, and I celebrate the day when we can be with it again:

bedlam winter scene

Photograph by Jon Katz.

So much to celebrate!  It’s been a great week.

 

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Celebrate this week: Of books, Twitter, and learning

  1. You are so thoughtful about your teaching. Everything you do has a clear purpose. Lots of learning, but most of all you value the exploration, that constant drive to know more.

  2. LOVE the idea of five book Friday. I think this may become a new tradition with my 8th graders, who read more than any class I’ve ever had 🙂

    And the power of an author’s tweet….so cool they gor a response from Cynthia Lord. She will be their favorite for awhile!

  3. Sounds like a great week, with students so busy and sharing and then that tweet to cap it off. Like others, I’d love to have a visit in your classroom, Tara. Also, hope you can get to the farm soon. Spring is definitely around the corner-Groundhog Day is next week!

  4. Wow! I’m always amazed at all the wonderful things you do with your students. Isn’t Cynthia Lord the best?! Always so supportive of teachers and kids. I need to go back and watch that Chris Lehman video. Is it on his Educator Collaborative site? You farm looks so serene. Cold, though!

  5. So many wonderful things to celebrate. We also had contact with an author this week. I am again marveling at how Twitter, blogs and other Internet platforms allow us to have amazing connections with others. It is fabulous to see students with wide eyes reading comments from authors after we have read their work. Also, the farm is gorgeous!

  6. Tara, congratulations on launching your Twitter page. This is an excellent step toward encouraging #stuvoice. I love the photo of your farm. It looks like a picture postcard. Maybe a poem for Winter Wanderings will come from that.

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