Monthly Archives: December 2013

5 Things I Loved About Last Week- December 22

Thanks @colbysharp for the great idea for a regular reflection post!

Last week I loved:

5. Readathon- On the last day of school before break (Wednesday) I told the kids if they had all of their “must do” work finished they could have a morning readathon after recess. I told them they could bring books in their home language, read alone or with a friend, and enjoy a relaxed reading session.

4. Gifts- My students know me well and I got some beautiful cards, some  chocolate, a new tea mug and a gift card to a local independent book store, a cookbook and a few other treats!

3. Hugs– Sadly, I missed most of our end of year party because of a mandatory principal selection committee meeting, but I rejoined my class as they were walking to art, and although I had only been away for an hour I got lots of hugs- I love these kids!

2. Holiday Reading Plans- My students all made holiday reading plans where they wrote about where they could read, what they would read, who they would read with, and set reading goals. I meant to send these plans home so that the parents could help “remind” the students, but alas, time got away from me. I hope they make sure to read!

1. Gifts– I gave each of my students a few small gifts. They predicted I would gift books. I gave them each an “I’m Bored” book mark printed from Debbie Ohi’s website (thank you, Debbie!), a Lindt chocolate animal (because Lindt chocolate is my favorite), and a copy of Lulu Walks the Dogs by Judith Viorst. I chose the book because it is the second in a series and we read the first at the start of the year as our first chapter book read aloud and the kids LOVED it. When they were taking their gifts back to their seats, many already had their noses buried in the book.

This week we are on break and I look forward to spending time with friends and family at “home” in Boston. I will spend lots of time in book stores and aim for #bookaday. I have to prepare for a presentation on integrating technology in a literacy classroom that I will share at the Association of German International Schools in January. School is back in session on January 6th for teachers and the 8th for students.

5 Things I Loved About Last Week- December 14

Thanks @colbysharp for the great idea for a regular reflection post!

Last week I loved:

5. Reading assessments- Yeah, I know, these are not usually top of anybody’s list of great things about a week, but… I love taking the time to really listen to each of my students as they read and talk about what they have read. I was pleasantly surprised by the growth some of my students have made since the last time and attribute it to the volume of reading they have been doing.

4. Winter Concert- The students were so excited for this and although it was very hard for all of them to be great audience members, they performed very well!

3. Hour of Code– This was such a great experience for my students! I put the link in the weekly newsletter and one student had already tried some of it at home before we tried it at school We watched the introductory video together and discussed their different options, and then I set them loose! It was great to see them working independently, helping classmates who needed help, persisting through challenges, and being successful!

2. New chapter book read aloud- We started Rump  by Liesel Shurtliff on Friday. I loved the book when I read it this summer and I was eager to begin it, but was a bit nervous, because it is not a quick read and some of my colleagues have had troble hooking their students on longer read alouds this year. After the first chapter I asked my students if we should continue and it got unanimous “yes” votes. We got most of the way through the second chapter before dismissal. I am glad that their patience and stamina have made them ready for this great book!

1. Mock Caldecott continues- I continue to read some great picture books with my students and our look at potential Caldecott candidates for the year is moving along. I am glad a few other teachers at school are taking advantage of these great books too.

The week ahead is short- we finish school Wednesday. I look forward to making reading plans with my students and will use this great post  to help me. On Thursday I will travel to the US and I know some book store visits are in my future there! Yay for friends and family time as well.

Have a great week!



As with many trends in my life, this one started on Twitter! Shortly after becoming more active on Twitter I discovered The Nerdy Book Club, and it is not an exaggeration to say that my life has never been the same since then! I have happily joined in Twitter Chats, #bookaday, #bookgapchallenges, #cyberpd, and even #nErDcampbc from the comfort of my living room or wherever I happen to be at the moment. What I love about Twitter is the power it has to connect me to like-minded educators, readers, and other super smart people who unfortunately do not live near enough to me to meet for a chat in person. Twas the day of Thanksgiving and all throughout my Twitter feed there were people making what I consider to be early New Year’s resolutions. @iChrisLehman and several others dubbed them #Nerdlutions and so I was hooked (see his blog post at

Today in my third grade class we talked about habits we liked and habits we would like to create. Now here is the problem- I put my #Nerdlutions in writing, in front of my class- so now I am committed! I said I would:

write every day,

read for pleasure every day,

eat fruit every day,

thank someone every day,

and clean something at home every day.

Obviously some of these will be more fun than others, but my point is that I have to *try* to do these all each day. We talked about the fact that putting your ideas down in words for others to see makes them more powerful and I know some of my students will be keeping a special, close eye on me.

Today is day 1 and I have done 4/5 and will read for pleasure soon! Tomorrow I am going to try to be more purposeful in who I thank. I am also going to bring a bag of fruit to school so it is more accessible. All of my #Nerdlutions will help me in one way or another, so I am really going to try (but I would appreciate it if my cats did NOT continue to provide the clean up duty of cat throw up removal! Thank you!).

C’mon, you know you want to join in and make a #Nerdlution too!