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I'm Listening

Posted 04-21-2010 at 08:35 AM by Hifiman

Late last year I wrote about seeing a therapist. It was at a particularly low point in my life and I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. I was desperate to make things better, but it took a couple of attempts to make things happen. The first time I made the effort to see someone I called a place to get approval. I got that approval a few days later, but that's as far as I got. I never took things further. It wasn't until much later that I made another attempt. I had no idea if would go through with it until I walked in her office. I'm glad I did. It was nothing like I thought it would be, but I do have one complaint. There's no long couch for me to lie on. I thought all therapist had something for patients to lie down on.

Getting to the office wasn't so bad in the first place. It's in an office complex. There are buildings on either side of a walkway and there's a stream running down the middle with lots of nice plants on the banks. It's...

Thoughts about state standards

Posted 04-15-2010 at 05:55 PM by MissO

Today, as I sat typing our relatively new ELAR standards into an Excel document, I started thinking about them.

I wondered, how often do teachers sit down and THINK about what the state (or whomever) says we're supposed to teach our students?

Granted, I haven't been in the classroom for a while, but from what I read today, these standards aren't as overwhelming as they seemed at first. When I first saw them last spring, I was terrified that no one would ever be able to get everything done. Now that I study them again, I realize they're manageable.

In an ideal classroom.

What about places like my school, where the majority of families are (understandably) more worried about food and clothing than they can be about providing vocabulary-rich experiences for their children?

What about the third grader who comes to school with his worn-out shoes on the wrong feet because nobody at home taught him any better?


Well, here goes...

Posted 04-15-2010 at 05:41 PM by MissO

Welcome to my blog. As you can tell from the title, I'm still working on deciding exactly what it is I want to say. I feel fortunate to be given an official "voice" in the PT community, and I want to use it well.

Meanwhile, here is a quote to chew on:

"Reason is the natural order of truth, but imagination is the organ of meaning."
~ C.S. Lewis

How much is a smile worth?

Posted 04-13-2010 at 04:17 PM by Hifiman
Updated 04-13-2010 at 04:52 PM by Hifiman (forgot diamond)

There are lots of great smiles. Shy ones, big ones, forced ones, toothy ones, and the best of all - kids smiles. I love when they're in that transitional period when they first become aware of their own smiles and the importance of them in photos and such. That's when they make these huge smiles that show you every last tooth, including the back ones, and every last millimeter of gums. As far as smiles go they look awful, but they always provide plenty of laughs.

My wife has a great smile and she displays it often. My son has a great one too, but he's sixteen and that's when smiles become a rare occurrence within sight of anyone over twenty-five.

There are lots of great smiles on TV. Too many. I mostly ignore them all. There are two smiles on TV though that I never fail to notice - the Sprint Cup girls' and the secretary's on Celebrity Apprentice.

I've written about the Sprint Cup girls before. I haven't seen my favorite one much...

Back to the old!

Posted 04-13-2010 at 03:09 PM by liketeaching1

Testing is over. Today was our first day "back" in the sense that our schedule was routine. We arrived to a relaxed classroom. Desks were back in our dining room style. Bookbaskets were in close proximity to everyone's desk. We could converse. We could relax. We could actually see something in the classroom besides covered up words, bulletin boards, charts, calendars,etc. Our specials were the usual 45 minutes at the usual time. We had a usual Reading Workshop. We had a usual morning meeting. We could sing a song to begin our day.

It is refreshing to follow a routine that we have grown accustomed to. I remember BookMuncher blogging about how important routine is. It is like a breath of fresh Spring air after a long dreary winter.

Routine is bright and shining. It is knowing that we are a family and we can rely on familiarity to find comfort.

How do I know that this is as important to the kids as it is to teachers? It was the smiles...

Life in sixth grade

Posted 04-12-2010 at 05:20 PM by imalith

My plan for this blog is to post my classroom activities and keep some of my progress as a teacher documented for my reference. I've chosen the blog format to welcome comments from anyone that wants to read my posts.

A little bit about me:

I've just finished all sending off my portfolio for my national board certification. I have yet to take my test, so I must study and continue to keep that as a focus.

I teach sixth grade reading, language arts and ancient history. In addition to teaching, I share co-curriculum leadership in reading and language arts for my school. I'm a member of NCTE and a member of my district's writing committee.
Rating: 3 votes, 3.67 average.

Making Something Beautiful, Discovering Something True

Posted 04-11-2010 at 01:12 PM by BookMuncher

Eek! I'm so nervous! I was asked to speak at a local university's induction for a Literacy Honors Society. Me? Speak? Squeak, maybe. I write. But of course I said yes, because saying no would have just brought regrets. Because I'm not good with speaking off the top of my head, I had to write the whole thing out and then go back and outline it so that I wouldn't be looking down at my paper the whole time.

I thought I'd run it by my PT friends first. You're lucky- you get the long hand version, free of ums and flailing hand movements. But it also won't have the two videos that I'm going to show the audience. You'll have to make a mental image.

A couple years ago, I had four boys in my first and second grade classroom who were overly passionate about all things Titanic. They formed a Titanic club and their meetings consisted of them pouring over all my Titanic books. When they ran out of mine, they got all the ones they hadn’t read yet

Color Copier Washer Dryer

Posted 04-11-2010 at 08:26 AM by Speced9

That's what we need, folks. If only Xerox® would get together with Maytag® and create a machine that will print out twenty copies while washing, drying and collating my outfit.

I don't know why it takes me so long to figure things out. I've been eating yogurt as a part of my school lunch since the first semester. My brain just can't retain the fact that yogurt in a cup is explosive stuff.

The scenario is always the same. There I am walking from the lounge with a yogurt in one hand, papers from my mailbox in the other, and a plastic spork in my mouth seemingly unaware that I'm carrying a ticking time bomb. I put the papers down on my teacher table, grab the tinfoil pull tab and.... explosion of yogurt. Yogurt on my shirt, yogurt on my pants...

Teachers: the newest endangered species

Posted 04-11-2010 at 03:20 AM by musicbug

Species Profile

Public School Teacher

Habitat: Large Brick buildings with tile floors, in varying stages of decay
, the majority are contained in spaces called classrooms. Some of these are converted storage areas. Others of the species are allowed to roam the halls free with all belongings on a cart or on their back. These teachers must fight for turf in 45 minute intervals. Once in a room the careful will note the only unused furnishing is an adult sized chair saved for when the keeper comes to visit. A special holding room known as "the lounge" holds the feeding area, facilities and often the machines that recreate the books that teachers need, but are not purchased.

Diet: Contrary to popular belief, teachers are not voracious eaters nor particular. The hallmark of a teacher's lunch is a solid or liquid meal that can be consumed in 5 minutes or less while continuing its duties seamlessly. Many also live on hot or cold beverages...


Posted 04-10-2010 at 07:16 PM by Ilvtching

This is just a test to see if this is in the new blog format or the old! I haven't posted on my blog in forever. I promise to do better!

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