Slice of Life Tuesday: Where did October go?

Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Two Writing Teachers

Where did October go? I asked myself this morning, as I tore it off my office calendar and came face to face with November.

What had happened to October? I wondered, as I put a great big red “X” through it on our classroom school calendar.

Then, the first of my students began walking into our classroom…two ballerinas, one robot, Minnie Mouse, and a pirate…yes, Halloween is here and October is definitely over.

The question remains…where did it go?

                                                some ind of courage.jpg

We read Some Kind of Courage, and learned about being brave and staying true to the best in ourselves, the “best” we weren’t even sure we had.  And, somewhere in the listening, and turn and talking ,and note jotting, we became a community of readers.  Our read aloud gave us one story to gather around, experience, and learn through. We came to know  Joseph and Ah-kee, and our journey to learning about them was also a journey of learning about each other: what makes us laugh out loud, what moves us to tears, and what lies between.

At one point in the story, Joseph and Ah-kee trade mementos:

We looked at each other a minute, then we both put the other’s memory into our own pocket.  They were new memories, now, but they were tied up and bound to the old.  That’s how memories work, I suppose; you just go through life collecting them, never let go of the precious ones but leaving room in your heart for more.  Pg. 172

And that’s how great stories shared in readalouds work, too…we’re going through our school year together collecting them, loving them, and leaving room in our hearts for more.  So, there was a piece of October…

…which was also spent exploring our stories and writing our own personal narratives.  We dug into our writer’s notebooks and took some ideas for a spin all the way from a seed idea into drafting, revision, editing and publishing.  This anchor chart became our workshop reality, bit by bit, as we learned together that writing is purposeful, sometimes joyful, work:


And October ended with a Halloween themed writing celebration: kids in costume munching on sweet goodies, sharing stories.

We made room for silliness, too, it being Halloween and all.  When the last bell rang, Batman collected writing folders, Alice in Wonderland helped put things away, and a long-tailed, tutu sporting mouse assisted in sweeping away leftover crumbs.   Writing workshop involves many shared tasks.  So that was another piece of October.

Reading and writing, learning and sharing, doing the work of building community…that was our October.  It was a month, all in all,  well spent.


23 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: Where did October go?

  1. I feel the same way about October…but I know where mine went: two out-of-town weddings, an Octoberfest surprise 35th birthday party for my son at our house, helping my daughter prepare her Frida Kahlo costume for the Halloween Bash my son throws every year at his apartment in Brooklyn, and numerous reading and discussion workshops, gentle yoga classes, French coversation meet-ups and writing a blog weekly for Two Writing Teachers. Oh, and lots of lovely walks during this beautiful month at nearby scenic favorite places.

    This would be such a lovely prompt for each month, or at least every now and then, to remind students (and yourself) of how busy you’ve been and how much you’ve accomplished together. Loved the post!

  2. Yes, October felt like just a blink of an eye! I just finished SOME KIND OF COURAGE. What an excellent book. It was filled with so many treasures, just like the one you shared.

  3. That is a good prompt. Maybe a list poem? Love all the work in your classroom and how you are becoming the community you wish to be. November and December will be easier because of October.

  4. Tara, I always love tagging along for a wrap-up of the work you do. I just read Some Kind of Courage (one of our after school book club choices). The characters will be with me for a long time. Love the quote you shared!

  5. I am thinking (also) that this would be a great reflection in our especially busy months, or even in the months where we do not feel we have done much. I love the characters you describe in your classroom.But really, where did October go!?

  6. Lovely reflection. I especially like the contrast of deep thought with fun costumes. This kind of community – daring to share inner world and daring to laugh together – is the best.

  7. As I read about your powerful month, I was feeling like it is October and this year feels so unproductive. Yet you remind me that I have accomplished those intangible things – like a shared story and writing experience! Thanks for reminding me of their power and how reading and writing together are a great accomplishment!

  8. Love the “hum” produced by this community of readers who now hold the story of Joseph and Ah-Kee in their hearts; the community of writers who share their stories and their silly sixth grader-ness. Such a profound reflection on the power of your work.

  9. Love it all, but especially that ending when you had Alice In Wonderland, Batman and a tutu-wearing mouse helping the final clean-up. Nothing better! October is a good month in school, settling in, cementing some things to keep, readying for the year that remains.

  10. Do you share these reflective posts with your students? I would love to hear their reactions when they step back and remember all you have done. Would their recap be the same or different? You always leave me wondering!
    Happy November.

  11. October was a really full month, even with some shortened weeks and some holidays! I love your charts, Tara, that show students what happens in WW. I also love Clare’s questions about sharing your posts and reflections!

  12. I so enjoy seeing the images from your class (often on twitter). They remind me of the importance of community and how relationships shape learning. Such a good book choice for the beginning of the year. I often like to remind my students that at the bottom of Pandora’s box/jar was hope. This story reminds me too that hope is so important.

  13. What a wrap up and I just want to come sit in your room. I want to return to school – how lucky your students are. I also think I must get this book to read and maybe pass it along to my eighth grader.

  14. Building a classroom community through read-alouds is one of the things I miss most about having my own classroom. Some Kind of Courage sounds like an amazing book. I love these lines: “That’s how memories work, I suppose; you just go through life collecting them, never let go of the precious ones but leaving room in your heart for more.” How lucky your students are to be able to create memories of a year with you!

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