ELA 101

Leading. Laughing. Learning.

Going with the Flow

After months of planning and a promising weather forecast, our seventh grade students were able to enjoy a fantastic day on the Grand River.  Students chose who to partner with and set off for a 45-minute cruise from Thompson Field to the Portland Municipal Dam.  Some of the highlights were spotting geese (and lots of goslings), a heron, a sandhill crane, and lots of turtles along with finding a few rocks below the water’s surface and learning how to work together as a team in paddling and navigating toward our destination.

All in all, we had a terrific time and I couldn’t be more proud of how our students behaved and enjoyed themselves on this trip!

 

Canoe Feedback

Hands-on Learning

We’ve been reading Phoenix Rising by Karen Hesse.  Set on a sheep farm in Vermont, I’ve always worked to build background knowledge for students.  This year we’ve watched videos of border collies herding sheep and I’m hoping to bake bread with students within the coming weeks.  However, just yesterday, we were honored to have Mrs. McNeil come and share information about her sheep.  She brought photos, books, fleece, roving, yarn, her spinning wheel and several products made from the wool of her sheep.  It was fantastic!  Students were able to feel the lanolin on the fleece and compare it to the roving that was already washed, carded and neatly rolled.

It was terrific watching students step up and use the carding paddles themselves or take a turn spinning.  Most of them said it was much harder than it looked!  Having timed the reading so that students were reading the chapters where our main characters, Nyle and Muncie, have just gathered pulled wool from fences and were carding and spinning it, I think they were able to understand it far better than if they hadn’t had this experience.  Thank you, Mrs. McNeil for sharing your wealth of knowledge!

Rest ~ SOLSC ~ 31/31

I’m not quite sure how this month flew by so quickly.  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind and I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling.   Most everyone I’ve talked to lately has felt similarly.  March was oddly quick, busy and atypical.  This year has the writing has been much more of a challenge than I remember in previous years, though I’m happy with the moments I’ve been able to capture.

Having recently attended MACUL and learned more about blogging as a professional development tool, I’m interested in seeing where that leads.  I look forward to the learning and practical application of reflective writing.  Here and now, I’m thankful for the past month that revealed the talent of dedicated students, the goodness and willingness to go above and beyond, the promise of warmer days ahead, mere weeks remaining the school year and the siren call of summer in the not-so-distant future.

I am thankful for quiet contemplation, frustrated release, and hopeful preparation that I’ve expressed in posts throughout this past month.  But perhaps, more than anything, I’m eager for the rest that I await with the start of the new month and an uninterrupted week of relaxing as a family.SOLSC

This post was written as part of a monthly challenge sponsored by  Two Writing Teachers, to encourage writing and community.  The goal is to write a Slice of Life entry each day throughout the month of March.

Classroom Slice Round-up ~ 31/31

Classroom SOLSCPlease copy the permalink from you blog post for today and paste it in the comments below.  Be sure to check for comments on your posts and remember that repaying comments and connecting with other writers is the best way to build yourself a writing community.  I will be sharing this post on Two Writing Teachers call for Classroom Challenge posts sometime today.

You’re welcome to go there as well and find other blogs to read and comment on.  Be sure to pay attention to what age the students are so that you are able to offer appropriate feedback.  Unless a blogger has asked for criticism, you should give positive and specific feedback.

Classroom Slice Round-up ~ 30/31

Classroom SOLSCPlease copy the permalink from you blog post for today and paste it in the comments below.  Be sure to check for comments on your posts and remember that repaying comments and connecting with other writers is the best way to build yourself a writing community.  I will be sharing this post on Two Writing Teachers call for Classroom Challenge posts sometime today.

You’re welcome to go there as well and find other blogs to read and comment on.  Be sure to pay attention to what age the students are so that you are able to offer appropriate feedback.  Unless a blogger has asked for criticism, you should give positive and specific feedback.

Classroom Slice Round-up ~ 29/31

Classroom SOLSCPlease copy the permalink from you blog post for today and paste it in the comments below.  Be sure to check for comments on your posts and remember that repaying comments and connecting with other writers is the best way to build yourself a writing community.  I will be sharing this post on Two Writing Teachers call for Classroom Challenge posts sometime today.

You’re welcome to go there as well and find other blogs to read and comment on.  Be sure to pay attention to what age the students are so that you are able to offer appropriate feedback.  Unless a blogger has asked for criticism, you should give positive and specific feedback.

Classroom Slice Round-up ~ 28/31

Classroom SOLSCPlease copy the permalink from you blog post for today and paste it in the comments below.  Be sure to check for comments on your posts and remember that repaying comments and connecting with other writers is the best way to build yourself a writing community.  I will be sharing this post on Two Writing Teachers call for Classroom Challenge posts sometime today.

You’re welcome to go there as well and find other blogs to read and comment on.  Be sure to pay attention to what age the students are so that you are able to offer appropriate feedback.  Unless a blogger has asked for criticism, you should give positive and specific feedback.

Blessed ~ SOLSC ~ 27/31

 

 

We were busy in class today.  An essay to finish, the end of the quarter looming large next week, and the onset of a much-needed spring break looming even larger.  Students reported immediately to the lab.  This was new, I think the first or second time I had this group do such a thing.  I knew they needed time, and I wanted to offer as much as possible, though I expected a few “I’m done, now what?” questions.  It was anyone’s guess how the day would play out.

As a teacher, I’ve come to learn that many times, my attitude toward a task or my outlook for a particular day can determine how my students will approach that same task.  Not always, but often.  Today, I can’t help but wonder if the beginning of my day helped to shape the way the rest of my day unfolded with students.

She walked to the teacher station in the computer lab, and extended her hand offering a small card.  “It’s from Emily,” she said.  “Happy Birthday.”  I smiled, thanked her and she returned to her seat to begin working.

As my first hour students began working, I was already touched that my former student and this gal’s tutor, had been thoughtful enough to remember my birthday, let alone make arrangements to send a card along.  Then, I read the personalized note.

bdaycard

 

 

I sat there, eyes welling, listening to students type and recalling how it seems like only yesterday Emily was in my class.  I couldn’t have asked for a greater blessing on any day, let alone my birthday.  Moments like this are hard to come by, so when they do I humbly accept them and work harder to offer my best to those around me.

 

SOLSC

This post was written as part of a monthly challenge sponsored by  Two Writing Teachers, to encourage writing and community.  The goal is to write a Slice of Life entry each day throughout the month of March.

Classroom Slice Round-up ~ 27/31

Classroom SOLSCPlease copy the permalink from you blog post for today and paste it in the comments below.  Be sure to check for comments on your posts and remember that repaying comments and connecting with other writers is the best way to build yourself a writing community.  I will be sharing this post on Two Writing Teachers call for Classroom Challenge posts sometime today.

You’re welcome to go there as well and find other blogs to read and comment on.  Be sure to pay attention to what age the students are so that you are able to offer appropriate feedback.  Unless a blogger has asked for criticism, you should give positive and specific feedback.

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