Monthly Archives: February 2017

‘Twas the Day Before…


#sol17- February 28, 2017

This morning at Morning Meeting when I said “Tomorrow is March 1st,” they cheered. This group of third graders is, for the most part, very excited to start the Slice of Life Challenge that starts tomorrow. This year I have been especially persistent in talking up the challenge and some of these kiddos have been eager for months. I did a mental check as Morning Meeting continued (not very mindful of me, but true life).

For my class I have:

  • Hosted our first slicer lunch- we watched Zahira’s movie and created an idea list (see more here). I have not written an idea list myself… We will have a weekly lunch to talk writing.
  • Given out tiny notebooks and pens to those who say they are part of the challenge.
  • Prepped 31 blog posts, ready for each day (only for the class, I have not done it for my own blog- ugh!).
  • Printed a chart so that I can keep track of who posts which days (just for my own information, as the challenge is optional).

For a few colleagues who are joining (as a class and/or as individuals) I have shared links, answered questions, helped set up things.

As part of the “Welcome Wagon” I have bookmarked the blogs of my assigned “newbies”.

Tomorrow I am hoping that all these people feel supported, but that moment in Morning Meeting I felt my first wave of panic- I do not feel prepared myself. I am busily trying to make sure that others feel ready and able, but I have not made the time to do this myself. Realistically I know it will all work out, but I wish I done more to get ready. I tell myself that I will get through the first few days and then do some more preparation this weekend and maybe that will be enough to calm my nerves.

Tonight I think I will have the last day of vacation trouble sleeping (even though I am not coming off a vacation- I really mean that anticipation filled sort of sleep I do before a big day), as tomorrow it is March 1st!!!

Happy slicing!

Being a Pebble


#sol17- February 21, 2017

I often feel like my unofficial role is “pebble”. I am not one of those bold people out front at any activity, leading the charge. Instead, I see myself as a good background person, happy to lend a hand and take a supporting position. Creating tiny ripples of change is my goal.

Every year I publish a “Literacy Events” calendar, that shares links for activities we will participate in throughout the year and inviting others to join in too. I send it out in August and again in January. Bit by bit I am thrilled that others are participating more. Today I introduced March Book Madness to my class (we will do the picture book bracket), but last week I messaged a friend (Sally, that’s you) and she is having her class join in too! Our class community is enriched when we get to share these activities with other classes we “know”. After school today I shared MBM with my after school activity group and told them that they will be able to vote with me each Tuesday. A few students huddled by the book box reading away making their preliminary decisions. After school today a grade 5 teacher stopped me to talk about March Book Madness, as she had read my recent email. She says her class is in- yahoo!

Later this week I will host a lunch to get my students ready for the Classroom Slice of Life Challenge. I have talked about it many times already, but there we will look at a video or two (including one that a former student made) and start brainstorming ideas. This morning I wanted to get an idea of who was feeling like they might join. Of the 15 students who responded thus far eight plan to slice daily,  two are committing to most days, three will do many days, and two say they will not slice at all (little do they know that all will slice on March 1, the only day they will have in class time).

Today was a day where I could see small ripples of change- my quiet way to rock the boat. Who knows what is next!

To Know Me


#sol17- February 14, 2017

A new student started about two weeks ago with very limited English. As is always our custom on day 1 with new students we introduce ourselves in class (even if they can not understand most of what we say they may catch a familiar word or at least see us smiling at them). As I introduced myself briefly the other students were filling in the blanks. “I am Ms. Victor and my favorite color is-“

“Purple!” they chimed in.

“I love chocolate, but my favorite thing of all is -“

“BOOKS!” they shouted.

We went around the circle and I thought nothing more of the quick introduction until today.

R. was working with the EAL  teacher and I stopped by. They were practicing color names and after asking him a few I asked him what his favorite color was. He looked at me and made this sign:

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and said, “Like you.”

“Purple?” I asked.

He smiled shyly and I was shocked- he had remembered our hand sign for agreeing and he remembered a comment I thought he may have not even understood from two weeks ago. These small connections- signs to me that he is taking in more than I know!

These kids never cease to amaze me!

Car Free KL


#sol17- February 7, 2017

I think I have written about my love for Car Free KL before! Twice a month for two hours, the center of Kuala Lumpur is car free! For anyone who has ever lived in KL you can imagine the wonder of the usually jam packed streets free of cars-ahhh! Sunday mornings are my favorite for lounging in pajamas, but last Sunday I was out walking enjoying the relative peace and quiet. It is great fun to be out with walkers, runners, cyclists and more. There are marching bands, people roadside stands, and bike repair “kitchens”. What never ceases to impress me is the women who come out to exercise in their hijab with long sleeves and long pants, looking cool while I drip sweat in my skort and t-shirt. I walked alone, but never felt really alone. From time to time a colleague from school passed me (I work at a remarkably fit school- they were biking or running).

A group of us had plans at the 9AM finish to meet for breakfast at a local cafe. Most of us opted for roti canai and with drinks, the total bill for 5 of us was just over $10. The bonus was I did my weekly grocery shopping on the way home and by 11 felt like I had accomplished a lot. What a great way to spend a Sunday morning.