First, the back starts to hurt. Then it's the sit-bones. You try to lean backward, but the gap between the plastic lunch table seat and the wall is just a little too far to take any pressure off your posture. You fiddle with your notepad - then poke around inside your backpack, anything to keep … Continue reading 10/7 Slice: Uncomfortable Chairs Build Empathy?!
Monday: Ah, a reading day! How peaceful... Tuesday: Ah, a lesson followed by work time! The students will TOTALLY make the most of this, right?! Later that day in a CLT meeting... "I'm so frustrated. I teach lessons that the students don't even hear! They have time to work on a theme page, then act … Continue reading Roses and Thorns: The Week Before Spring Break
"If I was the supervisor, I'd call Child Protective Services and tell them these parents are unfit to raise a child!" How do you respond when a student says this about a character in a book? A character whose parents' only flaws are that they were beat up by robbers, don't have health insurance, and … Continue reading Kids Say the Darnedest Things…
Today (a teacher work day) I went into school instead of working from home. There's something to be said for environments and the impact they have on work production. Which, in this case, means if I were to stay at home, I'd be reading and cuddling my cat all day instead of grading! As I … Continue reading Slice #32: I’m Baaaaack!: Reflections on a Grade Prep Day
Well, today's the last day. And I don't quite know how to begin the end. I spent the morning reading beautiful, reflective pieces by fellow slicers, and am moved to try my hand at a similar format. I've learned a lot about myself and my writing over the past month, and want to both share … Continue reading Slice of Life #31: The Art of Slicing
This morning, Step-sitting with the cat, (as is our tradition on sunny mornings) We had a visitor! A little boy Who lives in the neighborhood zooming by on his scooter, Mom trailing behind. We have a next-door neighbor with cats, So mom was saying, "Look for the house with the cats," When suddenly - The … Continue reading Slice of Life #30: Stress-Eating Cat
I think teachers and students should all wear mood rings. Maybe then, my students wouldn't push my buttons quite so much. Maybe they'd know when to quit before I blew my lid. Today I gave an entire class detention for a week after far too many unheeded warnings. I admitted that it's hard to give … Continue reading Slice of Life #29: Mood Rings
Today's Miracle: 28 and 26 students(Two rowdy, after-lunch classes)(11-12 years old, attention spans short) FOCUSING! Writing, Drawing, Making thinking visible. Mining books for examples, Asking for help, Grabbing post-its freely. If finished,Reading. At the call For turning in notebooks, more than half areDONE! I guess offering a reward: Read aloud time at the end of … Continue reading Slice of Life #28: Today’s Miracle – A Poem
Last weekend, I was angry. I sat down to grade my students' notebook pages (a skill my colleagues use with their students to great success), and was disappointed by the utter crap I was looking at. Okay, I know that was a dramatic few sentences. But it's exhausting to teach, reteach, give work time, manage … Continue reading Slice of Life #27: Dramatic Grading!
Tuesday. Period 3. Ten minutes into work time... Two girls sit together reading aloud, book exchanging hands every page. "'Rosalie took her in when her own mother kicked her out, her senior year in high school...' - Ohhh, Starr's mom must be young, then!" I love overhearing student voices when the room is calm, and … Continue reading Slice of Life #26: Ten Minutes Into Work Time…