Monday, January 15, 2018

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr

As we celebrate today, I think this is one of my favorite quotes, as it relates to education:  we, as teachers, must teach skills and concepts (obviously), but character is so important!  We need to do better...be better!  Teachers serve as role models, so we must model how to be good characters, citizens; we can't just talk about it:  we have to walk the walk. As we enjoy our day off, use it for more than just a day off from work.  Think about why we are off, what King did and how he impacted our society; where we are today, and more importantly where we need to be!  Use it as a time to reflect, and think critically about how you can make a difference, be the difference.  
Happy Monday to all.  Go, be your very best!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Snow Day

The snow that was predicted:  it came, it saw, it conquered!  We are covered in snow, with a layer of ice below, therefore, this southwest Florida girl can be found here:  home!  I must admit, the first snow of the year is always exciting and beautiful to look at (from inside, of course).  But, as we approach day 3, I can honestly say, I'm done...you can melt.  I'm ready to go back to school!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

New Semester Excitement

WARNING:  Nerdy Professor Post!

Preparing for a new semester is always such an exciting time for me.  I get so excited about meeting new students as well as seeing previous students, of course. It is also a time for me to reflect on the previous semester, read my course evaluations, and make necessary changes...try something different...explore new possibilities...discover new technology tools to enhance student learning and provide instructional supports...a new opportunity to do what I love most:  TEACH.  Over my break, I've read, participated in live Twitter Chats, tried new apps, and labored over ways to better teach and impact LITERACY.  I've made several changes to my interactive student notebook for my Teaching Elementary Reading course, improved (or so I think) the Reading & Writing Workshop Assignment for READ 448, chosen great books to either read aloud or book talk in my Children's and Young Adolescent Lit courses.  As I prepare, I always return to my target:  my what, how and most importantly, my WHY.  
WHAT:  teach most effective, research-based strategies to better prepare preservice teachers.
HOW:  model engaging, interactive, hands-on strategies, so preservice teachers SEE the HOW.
WHY:  because LITERACY matters. 
So, here's to Spring 2018:  Let's go:  Inspire, Create, Be your best!   

Monday, January 1, 2018

#OneWord

When perusing Twitter about 3 days ago, I came across a post and several users tweeting with the #OneWord.  I had not heard of this hashtag or the book, so I began to investigate.  Intrigued as I was, I downloaded the book, read it, and was hooked.  At the close of a year and the onset of a new one, it is commonplace to seek resolutions, seek change, and honestly, seek ways to be and/ or do better, but I also knew that I wanted something realistic that could work.  Several things struck me as I read One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon that I found interesting and insightful.  He noted that 87% of adults make New Year's resolutions (206 million people) and 50% of them fail by the end of January; most are long forgotten by summer. I can certainly see that, as it has happened to me quite often.  As stated in the book, "people do not remember paragraphs or even sentences. Such complexity lead to procrastination and even paralysis. One Word is sticky and memorable. We've never forgotten our word!" 

Initially, I thought of a word, (Pause), but wanted to delve into the book, give myself time to think,  and really be sure that I had chosen the right word for me for 2018.  As Gordon noted, there is a three-step process in finding your word:  1.) Prepare your heart  2.) Discover your word  3.) Live your word.

So, as I finished the book and reflected on 2017 and looked ahead to 2018, PAUSE just kept coming back to me.  In fact, no other word entered my thoughts with any sense of purpose as Pause did; therefore my #OneWord is PAUSE!

Here are a few of my hopes about my word and 2018:
I want to PAUSE more often (be more reflective rather than reactive)
I want to PAUSE more often (enjoy the little things, small moments, and yes, smell the roses)
I want to PAUSE before saying yes all of the time (when I really do not have time to execute a task)
I want to PAUSE (pay closer attention to the now)
Finally, I want to PAUSE (and take better care of myself: mentally, physically, & emotionally).

So, as I finish this first post in 2018 and I've shared my word publicly, it is my hope that I will truly PAUSE throughout 2018.

May the new year be all that you hope for and may you be your best you!  

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Reading Challenge

As we close out 2017, I am proud that I met my Reading Challenge!  I hope 2018 will be a great year of many more books. I set a goal of reading 30 books in 2018, so now I must decide:  which book will I read first?

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Gift of Literacy


Here are 10 reasons why books are excellent gifts; however, there are many more than ten!  More importantly, giving the gift of books is supporting and giving the gift of literacy.  In 2017, we should not have such high illiteracy rates in our country!  Let's do better.  Give the gift of literacy and let's make 2018 the year of change!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Play Encourages Curiosity


Ahhh...play can be serious learning!  
So...are we engaging students in interactive read alouds, hands-on activities, and creative responses to reading?  
Are we encouraging discussions, creative and critical thinking?
Are we modeling these behaviors?