Sunday, March 21, 2010

Finishing Report Cards

There is nothing as sweet as finishing report cards-watching them print out and knowing that other than fixing the typos and running them off and stuffing the envelopes I don't have to do them again for a couple of months.

Looking at my last entries I sounded a bit embittered.  No doubt due to report card writing hanging over my head.  It really put a cramp into my enjoyment of Spring Break.

I have to admit I wasn't overly thrilled with returning to school but then  I was really happy to see my students.  I missed them and I think they missed school.  Most of my students were not off on exciting holidays and for them the school is their place to socialize as well as learn.  Mind you I think we all needed a week off, kids included!

I look at my class and can see lots of growth.  Many of my students at this point have read more than 20 books independently that they have written about in their Reading Response Journals.  I think my latest approach  making sure that they read silently for twenty five minutes each day and then write about their reading has really helped.  By 8:50 my class is settled and reading (we start class at 8:45 officially).  Even my "worse students" handle this easily.  I really have to thank Orca Publishing for their generosity as many of students have been turned onto reading with their Soundings, Currents, and Sports series.  Having the author of Dormia, Peter Kujawski and his wife, Nancy(also known as Celia Rose in her musical career), come at the beginning of the year was a wonderful way to begin and we have enjoyed our slow journey through this book as a read aloud.
Right now I am really trying to be more systematic about looking at content area reading and giving class  lessons moving from modeling to guiding to giving students independent practice and  consolidating.  The Canadian Reader and What in the World are great resources for teaching kids about current events at an appropriate reading level and include great lesson plans as well.  I am not a good follower of other people's lessons so that is quite a compliment.
For those of you not in Vancouver I am including a picture of one of our beautiful cherry trees.  We have lovely cherry trees outside our classroom window as well.  If you are feeling poetic why don't you enter the haiku contest that our Cherry Blossom Festival sponsors?  And now I have to work on cleaning up my garden! 
I have to mention it is kind of thrilling actually having official followers of this blog!  Wow! 

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