#Celebratelu & #SOLC17:Getting it done…

The Slice of Life March Writing Challenge @ Two Writing Teachers – 31 days of  a writing community.

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

We had a different sort of week this week: a blizzard on Tuesday, a half-day on Wednesday, and basketball March Madness which seems to have hijacked the attention span of my sixth grade boys.  It was also a week in which I’d hoped to wrap up projects and units in every subject area.  With all the distractions afoot, I remember driving to school on Wednesday and telling myself to relax and be prepared for getting very little done: it was a half day, after all, we could focus on one thing instead of many, and … que sera, sera (as the old song goes).

I asked my kiddos what that “one thing” should be, and just about everyone voted to finish our book club literary essays.  This surprised me, being that this was intense work – we’d worked through mapping out our thesis and supporting evidence the previous Friday, and moved through the introduction and first evidence paragraph on Monday.  I thought it made more sense to return to finishing up this work (two more evidence paragraphs and the conclusion) on Thursday, but my students had ideas of their own.

“I feel like we’re on a roll,”  Trevor said, “let’s just write it today.”  I looked around at other heads nodding in agreement, and decided to go for it.  We gathered at the reading rug for our minilesson and mentor text study first, and then dispersed to various desks and corners of the classroom to write.  For the next hour and fifteen minutes, our room was silent save for the sounds of rustling pages, writing, and the low hum of individual conferences.

By the time the dismissal bell had rung, a stack of reading journals had been piled high on our conference desk,and all of us (myself included) felt that our half day had been well spent…in spite of snow, a day off, and a half day to work with.  I celebrate that!

And here’s something else to celebrate – the delightful song that came to mind while I was writing this:

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26 thoughts on “#Celebratelu & #SOLC17:Getting it done…

  1. Doris Day’s voice will always be there when I’m reminded of that song, Tara. Good for your students, and celebrating their working hard and I imagine, fast! Happy Weekend!

  2. I was just reading a book about the one thing. Just finding that one thing and focusing on it. Somedays I do feel that we are too spread out to really focus on anytime.

    I do have to say that I’m jealous that you had a blizzard. I now live in St. Louis and we really don’t get any snow.

  3. Your class sounds like a well-oiled machine, but I know that a lot of love and effort went into that on your part from reading your posts throughout the school year. It’s so nice that you realized focusing on one important thing was the way to go for that half day, and allowing them to choose which thing it would be was the icing on the cake. It shows that kids can be very productive if they turn their energy and passion toward the given task. Nice post.

  4. Self talk on the way to school is so important for my day. Pausing midstream when I feel that things are starting unravel and I remember my self talk. I love the song connection perfect metaphor for your celebration.

  5. I didn’t click on the video, but the song is going on loop in my head anyway. Your students are sure committed to their work. So commendable.

  6. Oh, I remember the way March Madness highjacked the attention span of my 6th grade boys! And I love the way you decide to focus on one thing, let the students choose, and went with it when it was different from what you would have chosen.

  7. This is life! The fact that your students took on more than you expected speaks to the fine job you are all doing in dealing with the “whatever will be” of life and getting it done!

  8. I was already humming the song before I saw the video you’d linked at the end. It’s catchy! And yes, when you get a nutty week like that, choosing one thing to focus on is a great way to handle it. We’ve had nine snow days and two late starts this year, so I’ve had to practice that a lot.

  9. It is always wonderful to feel accomplished! This was a good reminder to me that we have to listen to our kids too! It can be surprising what they can accomplish when they’re given some control.

  10. There is much joy and satisfaction to be found in completing a task, a project. Your students were clearly invested in this learning and that alone is worthy of celebration. Thanks for sharing this great moment Tara.

  11. So interesting that your students chose to do the more difficult and challenging assignment. You’ve pushed my thinking here about prioritizing and focus. I so often multi-task in my classroom too rather than focusing on that just one thing.

  12. It was a challenge to accomplish anything this week! Doris Day’s song is exactly right, and nobody goes with the flow more easily than teachers. I love that your students chose to do the hard work rather than putting it off. Your influence shining through!

  13. I think it suggests a lot that your students opted to do the more intense work. It speaks to the commitment they have with academic work, well done!

  14. So impressive that your kids knew exactly what they wanted to work on, and that they chose something that was really difficult and went after it. Even on the half day after a snow day! Talk about engagement!

  15. I have to admit, Tara, when I read “one thing,” I thought of Curly in City Slickers… Your students have found their one thing and are sticking to it — writing. That is to be celebrated!

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