Tuesdays is the day for the Two Writing Teachers post.
It is the time of the school year that I reflect about what has gone well and what I want to change in the fall.
I feel like I have pivoted so many times it has been 3 years rolled into one. I changed teaching positions in January of 2020 and I haven’t had a “normal” school year since I moved to Wisconsin. What is normal anyway? Dealing with children is always a new adventure.
The last month makes me feel split. I teach some students in person and some online. On one of my walks the other day I was thinking about Dr. Richard Allington and his reading research and how I used to teach.
I met Dr Allington and had dinner with him one year at an International Reading Association conference. He is no nonsense and brilliant.
I had modified everything for virtual learning, including my writing instruction and kept feeling like something was missing. My students love writing time and are creative but I was skipping something.
I used to do something called Family Meeting. It was circle time and when I did calendar and all those snippets of standards you need to review every day in order for them to stick. We made patterns and tally marks, etc.
I also read the one of 4-6 read alouds for the day and then we would write a response to the book and I would focus on one skill. Students would then write their own version independently in their own notebooks. It worked well and the kids learned to experiment with writing.
Yesterday I added the group chart back and then had them write. It went smoothly and the feel of writing workshop was productive.
We used It Looked Like Spilt Milk and then wrote a story about what spilt blue paint would look like. Then they set off with their own colors. One had a spider that morphed into something else. Someone else had dancing butterflies.
I don’t have too many days left with the kids and I am trying to test in math and reading. There are some students that only show up on the in person days and some that randomly come to class no matter what mode we are in.
It is a gamble every morning.
I am looking forward to the summer and resting. I need to recharge for the fall. There is uncertainty as to what that is going to look like as no decisions, or discussion, is happening until next month in my corporation.
I will live my writing life this summer and go kayaking and ziplining and walk in the sun. I am going to Disney and celebrating my birthday next month and I am looking forward to it.
I am not certain what is in store for the fall, but I cannot control that right now and I do not have the energy to worry about it.
What are your summer plans?