Saturday, August 31, 2013

Chalk-A-Bration August 2013

Are you ready to chalk?
I bet you are or you already have so let's just get right to it! If you are new to Chalk-A-Bration all you need to do is chalk a poem or art illustration of a poem, take a photo and share your link in the comments. I will round up all the links and add them to the end of this post.  If you don't have a blog but would still like to participate, just email the photo to me and I can add it to the post that way. Just be sure to send the photo and the text in case I can't read the picture.

Be sure to visit as many of the chalkers as you can to see what they created with their bare hands and some chalk. So simple and so fun!

My chalketry of the day!

Chalk lands tell
a secret kept
of pastel words
on which we step.

Mists of dust
the secret safe
swept up with breeze
the words awake.

And this is my mother-in-law's contribution:
And now as
the summer dies
what happens to
the fireflies
are they the
glisten on the

Yay for chalk. Here are the chalk-a-brators so far:

Liz Steinglass comes in with her children to share their chalketry and you will love her son's comment about her poem. Go see it now! 

Margaret Simon from Reflections on the Teche had her students do some chalking yesterday. She got the attention of her principal who was so delighted she asked if they could do it again! Go see their beautiful work. It will make your heart happy. 

Linda Baie from Teacherdance shares her chalk about the season changing. She includes a tree pic as well showing the changing colors of fall. 

Robin joins in from Teaching Tomorrow's Leaders with a chalk poem about summer slipping away! Go check her out.

Ramona from Pleasures From the Page joins us with some friends today for Chalk-A-Bration. Go see her poem about turning the page on the calendar as the classroom calls us back to school!

Franki Sibberson from A Year of Reading shared the Chalk-A-Bration idea with her students and they've joined in with a variety of chalking ideas. Be sure to stop by and take a peek!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

More Than Guided Reading

It is always nice to read a professional book that follows your own philosophies for reading and writing. In Cathy Mere's book, More Than Guided Reading, she demonstrates a seamless pairing of teaching strategies while also merging guided reading into the mix. I have struggled over the years trying to define how these two types of teaching work together. Thank you Cathy for showing me that I haven't been doing it wrong. It seems that all too often there are educators on one side or the other. Teach, no do guided reading and back and forth it goes. It can all be balanced and it can include things like poetry and tie into the reading and writing link that we all know exists but is too often separated. What I took away from Cathy's book was to follow your heart and the hearts of your students. Tune into their needs and teach them. "Reading makes readers." (pg. 142) This also happens to be the last statement of the book and it all builds to this message. Reading is not a race or a teacher's nightmare it is an opportunity to learn about our students and take them further. It is not about teaching kids to reach the next reading level it is about teaching readers to love reading. If you haven't read Cathy's book and struggle to find the balance between these two very important means of teaching students I would highly recommend that you get it now and share it with your colleagues. Then put the balance into practice and watch your students thrive.