Express Yourself

Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Rainy Days and Mondays...Not Bad At All!

When I was driving to work this morning, these lyrics kept sounding in my head Rainy Days and  Mondays always get be down. This Carpenter song would leave me alone. I wondered what type of day would I have. I left my  house at my normal time. I hoped that there would be no blinking lights, car accidents or high water along the way. I expected some delays...I just didn't know how much. Surprisingly, I arrived at work 5 minutes than I usually do. There was only one car in the parking lot. So far, so good. Things were going well.

I had about an hour or so to prepare for my day. I put on some calm music and forgot about my active board. The evening before, someone had replaced a rather murky bulb with a bright one. Now I could actually use the active board and the students could actually see the board from the back of the classroom. Previously, they could see it only if both lights were off.  The students also had to be within 3 feet of the screen. I am sure they felt myopic. When I turned it on today, I was wowed by the amplification and clarity. My day was definitely upbeat, despite the rainy forecast.

Today I was able to show my students my blog. They kept asking to see it, along with my YouTube channels. I only had time to show them this blog. As I scrolled down, it was evident how much I love to write, and in particular, poetry. I read to them my poem about Making Lemons. It was nice to share my love of blogging and poetry with them. One day soon, I will show them some of the educational videos that I previously made for the Elementary Digital Reading Project. (I feel the spirit movin' me to create a Google Site this year for and with my class. I have been thinking about doing something like this for quite sometime. Now I have the class and the platform to do so. Karen Justl and Angelique Moulton are you listening?)

This may sound rather elementary to some people, but I must confess that today I used  Active Inspire without another person's help. In the past, I had always worked with  teachers who would assist me as I worked with their classes.  Today, all by my lonesome and with nineteen experts, I used Active Inspire. It went great. I used it mostly for Math In Focus-the online version. I think, the more I use it, the more comfortable I will feel. With Active Inspire, it is easier to use. I kept forgetting to "turn my mouse on" as the students kept telling me. Tomorrow, I will talk to them about using the cursor and pen. I asked them, "How could I have a mouse? I don't have a mouse! I have three cats!" "Huh?" one said and then with a short pause, he smiled. "Oh, I get it now!" Tomorrow we will refer to the mouse as the cursor.

To end the day, I finished the book Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo. What a charming book! I have been speaking to the students about how much I liked the book. One girl asked me, "Do you have two copies of that book?" I said, "Nope, but when I finish it today, would you like to read it?" That is the second student who has asked to read it. One of my students went to a colleagues Ludic Reading Library and checked out the book last week. When I gave the interested student the book today, her face lit up. She was so excited to read it. I brought in three new books to school that I received yesterday in the mail. I previewed Kate DiCamillo's new book with the class. Sure enough, just before Ludic Reading, one of my students asked to read it and took it home to read. I just love it! Love teaching! These moments are priceless. When you can put a book into a child's hands and make their day, it is so exhilarating. When I was their age, I hated reading. I don't want anyone to feel that way.

Now I love reading. Someone along the way introduced me to a good book. It was the librarian at little hole in the wall library in New Boston, Ohio. I remember going there in the Summer on my way home from baseball practice. The walk home was hot and the library had the best air conditioning in town, the coldest water fountain, and books that awaited me. I remember finally digging into biographies. The librarian always had kinds words to say to me and gave me lots of fun book marks. I hope to be that person who inspires others to read and write extensively this year.

Yes, I know, we have Math, Science and Social Studies too! We read and write in all of them!

Rainy days? Getting me down? I will leave that to The Carpenters and take my classroom any day. Four consecutive days posting! Not bad...not bad at all!

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