Wishful Wednesday and a Share #SOLC Day 13

I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life challenge. Each day in March teachers from around the country post to their blogs and the Two Writing Teachers website. We read and comment on each other’s posts.

Today is Wishful Wednesday. I saw it on a sign on my commute to work today and it feels right to title this post as such.

Today I send you time to take a few minutes to breath.

Today I send you thankful thoughts and actions to brighten your day.

Today I send you sunshine between the rain – literally or figuratively.

Today I send you a smile.

Today I send you the peace of knowing you are where you need to be, right now.

Today I send you a gift. The link below is to one of my Workshop Wednesday presentations.

I started Workshop Wednesdays in March of 2017 to address a need of professional development time. I am lucky to be in a middle school and have the advantage of team time. With the block scheduling this year I have 30 minutes to do this training. It is always voluntary and the topic is given ahead of time.

I follow the same basic outline each time. I have attached my Google Slides for you to see. The one I am sharing today is from August of 2017. I wanted to start the conversation about personality and Introverts and Extroverts. Students sometimes process out loud if they are extroverts. If there is an introvert teacher they can sometimes get annoyed by this practice.

There was a ripple effect here. People had their spouses take the quiz. Friends talked about it at dinner. The most important conversations happened at school and people came to me saying they were communicating better with people at school because they felt they had a better understanding about how others reacted.

I would love to hear your feedback.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Z1e3iTFCpnWGVgqpl61JMnlLPUkB3z_Iu5geH23b180/copy?usp=sharing

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Workshop Wednesday Recap

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Last Wednesday I hosted Workshop Wednesday during team times. The invitation was specifically sent out to the English teachers but everyone was welcome as always. The email informed the staff the topic was Independent Reading. This meeting is voluntary so I always let staff know ahead of time so there is no surprise. I was pleasantly surprised myself when my content teachers showed up as well.  Their attendance really showcases how dedicated they are to the new reading culture in our middle school. 

Last year there was not consistent Silent Sustained Reading, Independent reading, or choice reading. It doesn’t matter what the label was, but there was not enough time or support it seemed to pull it off.

It was decided with the new block scheduling this year there was time to implement Independent reading time. Now is the time where teachers have tried various components and how to differentiate for their classes and students.  I am so proud that all of the teachers who keep the choice piece sacred. All the decisions made were around that central idea.

The purpose of the meeting was to celebrate reading in our building and the culture they are all perpetuating. It was also to make lists of what was the reality of the reading time and what we want to make consistent across the school. To make a school wide definition decided by the teachers – not anyone else. 

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

It was a great discussion about conferencing, book talks, reading identity, first chapter Friday and what it looked like and sounded like in their respective classrooms.

We talked about what they needed and how to make reading spaces more inviting.

There was celebration about reading memories, students asking for more reading time, and books disappearing because the students want to read them so badly.

Taking inspiration from THE ART OF GATHERING by Priya Parker,  I had my version of “15 Toasts”. I had silly plastic champagne glasses with sparkling water. Everyone had a toast to make in the area of  a reading memory or the first memory they had of reading. One teacher shared she sat in the back of her third grade classroom because it was where the bookcases were and she could snatch books and read no matter what subject was being taught. There was one book that she loved so much she stole. She still has it! After the meeting she came to show me the book!

I also incorporated the Google Jamboard which I had never used before. It is designed to be used on an interactive white board but I just used the post it note function for everyone to share something exciting going on in their classrooms. I hope to foster some relationships between teachers to visit each other’s rooms and share ideas that are working. 

Here is the shared Jamboard

I am excited for the conversation when I can get all the stakeholders together and make some decisions for the achievement of our teachers and the students!