I had the opportunity to start my weekend out right with a nerdy breakfast. A few weeks ago Jen Vincent saw my tweet lamenting the fact that I was not going to be able to make it to NCTE 2013. She immediately got to work to plan a Chicago/Milwaukee Nerdy Book Club meet-up. Although many people couldn’t make it, there were still 5 of us at breakfast. It was great to meet Jen in person and to meet some new people to follow on Twitter. I am so grateful for my PLN and the wonderful people I “meet” on Twitter and through blogging communities. This was a fabulous way to start the day today! We talked books the whole time. So cool. It makes up the tiniest bit for not being able to go to NCTE.
This week, I continued to have a great group of kids coming in after school for NaNo time. It makes me feel so great that these students are giving up their time to come in and write. One student even missed a sport practice so that he could be there to write with us.
I love the reading community that is happening in my classroom. There are three boys in my classroom that are reading Divergent right now. It is fun to see them talk to each other about this book and compare with each other how far they are getting in the book. I also have a group of girls who are passing around See You at Harry’s. I love eavesdropping as they share their stories about where they were when they started crying and what conversations ensued with the people around them. I was able to conference with all of my students this week. I finally feel like our reading workshop is set and running smoothly.
There were multiple times this week as I read aloud from Endangered when I knew that the students were intently listening. There is another layer of silence that happens when students are completely absorbed with the book. I will celebrate finishing this book this week. It took a really long time to get through this one so I will probably pick picture books for a while before delving into the next read aloud.
My colleague and I have been working with one student to help him boost his self-esteem. She has had multiple talks with him about the idea of being able to feel proud of trying your best. He is a student who is so sure he will fail at things that he never even tries. This week, he showed me a Social Studies test that he did really poorly on and said, “I know this isn’t good, but at least I tried. I usually would just hand it in blank.” He was proud of himself for trying. It was music to my ears. I hope we can continue to help him work to feel proud of his efforts and understand that it feels good to know that you gave it your best try, no matter what the outcome.
Last, but not least, I want to celebrate my dog. She is such a cuddle-bug and I love how she forces me to stop working and pay attention to her. It is nice to have a reminder to put the work away and relax.