This is the time of year when students often have difficulty focusing as spring fever sets in. On top of numerous snow days that seem to keep us from getting into a rhythm, the weather is preventing students from enjoying a much needed outdoor recess.
So, I am celebrating small victories with my students this week, who are persevering when they would rather be running around in the highly anticipated warmer temperatures.
Celebration #1: Transfer
We have been doing a lot of Kylene Beer’s Notice and Note work during our Reader’s Workshop time. Students have been noting moments during read aloud and independent time, and using their notebooks to write quick or long about their thinking. Although their work with this is becoming more and more proficient, I’m celebrating the many writing conferences I had this week where students started to transfer these types of moments to their own story writing.
“My character is going to have a Memory Moment here to show how he’s feeling.”
“I’m writing my climax scene and my main character is having this Aha Moment as she realizes what she did was wrong.”
Transfer shows the deepest levels of comprehension, because students have internalized the work to a point when the see possibilities for it during other parts of their day.
Celebration #2: New Beginnings
In my class we talk about books all. the. time. My students have been spending more time online looking for book recommendations on Nerdy Book Club or Goodreads. I hear them doing impromptu book talks in the hallway, during snack time, and when they should be reading (oh well). We decided that we need our own blog so we can send our recommendations out into the online community. We are very excited about our new project, and can’t wait to reveal our new site in the coming weeks. Stay Tuned.
Celebration #3: New Tech and Hour of Code
This week we were also fortunate to get five mini iPads for our classroom. This new tech provides new opportunities for students to meet their learning goals in fresh new ways. We are looking forward to easier blogging, making more book trailers with Animoto and iMovie, and trying out Stitch for write arounds during book clubs and guided reading.
Also, I couldn’t help but be excited to see almost all the boys in my class crowded around one computer during recess time after one student took my recommendation to try Hour of Code. During a time of year when indoor recess has become ho hum and students find themselves in trouble more than usual, I was thankful for this great activity that fired up their imaginations and critical thinking skills.