Saturday, May 24, 2014

Celebrate This Week - May 24, 2014

This year, I am trying to increase my awareness of the many good things that happen, which are frequently overlooked by me.  To help me, I am joining Ruth Ayres' Celebrate This Week.

Here's what I am thankful for this week...

My typical Celebrate This Week focuses on five things that I want to celebrate.  As I thought about this past week, I decided that I wanted to celebrate one thing.

Over the past few months, I have regularly referred to a class of first graders that I have been working with.  Yesterday was my last time to see them for this school year.  I am going to really miss these 24 kiddos.  I am thankful for how the teacher and students welcomed me into their learning community.  When I come on campus, and I run into one of the students in the hallway (outdoor walkways in CA), I get huge grins and big hugs.

As part of what I have been working on with them, we have done a lot of writing. And having two adults in the room, has also allowed more time to conference with students about their writing. Students have grown as writers during this time.  While reading one student's reflection writing, I realized that he had gone from barely writing one line to now writing six or seven sentences.  He is also willing to ask for help, and by that I don't mean that he wants me to dictate what he should write, but instead, we dialogue about options and ideas for what he can write. Also, his drawings show an amazing amount of understanding about what we have read.

I am also celebrating those students who have started to write even when there are no sentence starters or the word they are looking for isn't on the word wall.  I praise their courage and willingness to take a risk.

And, I am celebrating those students who trusted me enough to dialogue about what challenges them most when facing a blank piece of paper and asked to write something down.  When they get even a couple of sentences down on paper, we celebrate their words.

Though I may not be working directly with these students next year, I want to work with this teacher again.  I believe we can do more to encourage authentic writing and that even our English Language Learners can become confident writers. For this, I celebrate teaching partnerships.