My One Little Word…And Where It Might Take Me

After much thought about all the possible words to be my one little word I’ve finally found one.  It needed to…

  • be actionable and visible
  • promote collaboration, questioning and creation
  • foster a love of reading and writing
  • strengthen the classroom community
  • ignite passionate and meaningful work

I choose wonder to be my one little word.

  •  because that’s what readers really do
  •  because it leads to exploration and learning
  •  because it can be seen as amazement or engagement
  •  because it gives permission to go places we otherwise might not go
  •  because that is the name of a book we love


Inquiry Work in Reading – I’ve just begun to look at how students process read aloud. I wonder can students identify their thinking processes during read aloud and then transfer some of that thinking towards independent work. I’m wondering what could bring the read aloud’s high level of engagement and deep level of thinking to their individual reading lives.

Poetry Connections –  Inspired by Mary Lee Hahn, Steve Peterson, and Vicki Vinton’s call for poetry, I am pushed to a place I’ve avoided. I wonder why I have overlooked poetry, particularly when I think about all of the potential it offerers in terms of language, craft and engagement.

But I’m working on it.  I’m looking for the those poems that resonate in my heart. Peeking at Poetry Friday posts and commenting on a few. My antennae are up. While I’m embarrassed to discover this hole in my literary world, I’m excited to learn alongside my students.

Deepening Student Blogging – I have learned so much from blogging and  I want my students to experience that same growth.  I’m wondering if we could connect student blogs out there for a student Tuesday slice in preparation for the March monthly challenge. Any takers for January and February?

Students Blog, Why Not Teachers – I’m wondering about blogging with my colleagues. Just to start, perhaps one day a week teachers could investigate one blog. We could gather around our laptops in room 5 and read a few blogs. Talk a bit and maybe a post a comment. I wonder if they’d catch the bug.

Wonder Across Grade Levels — As the new year starts, I wonder what is going on in other classrooms at my school. I wonder if my colleagues would want to enter my classroom and observe with wondering hearts and find at least one little thing to help to help me grow and one little thing that could help them grow. I’m wondering if I open up my classroom, inviting wonder, will others do the same.

Here’s to a year of wonder.



#Nerdlution Day 1-The Mission, the Plan, the Ground Rules

ImageI’ve been thinking about my #nerdlution to write daily for 50 days. First of all who wouldn’t want to do this, just to get the really cool button crafted by @MrazKristine. Secondly, I want to do this in a way that is not crazy making, that is in fact doable and fun. I needed direction. I needed a mission!   Then I needed my ground rules, a sort guide book, a plan. I really can’t help this, I’m a nerd. I live by rules and plans.

My simple mission in this #nerdlution is to discover something about writing and myself. I want to push from time to time to points where I might be a little uncertain or a little uncomfortable.

So here goes my #nerdlution plan:

  • Monday: Reflection on what I’ve done so far
  • Tuesday: Slice of Life – Love this writing community!
  • Wednesday: Poetry – This is shaky ground for me, so I’m breaking out the Georgia Heard.
  • Thursday and Friday – Writing about reading – More nonfiction needed here.
  • Saturday: Celebration –  A huge thank you to Ruth Aryes creator of this wonderful weekly ritual.
  • Sunday: Working on this one. Thinking about reflections on students.

The Ground Rules:

  • No school night writing may take over 30 minutes.
  • In bed by 10 pm on school nights.
  • Upon reflection and with really good reasons, I can modify.

My First…

One of the writing strategies I teach my students when they sit down to a blank page, is to think of a first or a last time something important happened in their life. Maybe it was the first time you rode a bike or the last time you saw your grandfather.

I think of that strategy as I write my first grown up,(drumroll) on the web, for all to see (eekk!!) post.

Part, in fact a lot, of what makes this scary is that someone might read it.

But wait, isn’t that what I want? Someone to read it.

But what if they think it’s awful and then post on twitter: See how not to write a blog (insert blog address here) #everyonethatmatters

At this point I am totally freaked out by the possibility of  hitting publish button.

But I digress.

I started this blog for several reasons. One, I am so inspired by the many blogs I have been exposed to via my new-found twitter peeps or tweeps @franmcveigh, @rscalateach  @pernilleripp @kateteach @misterminor…the list goes on and on. These amazing educators are adding so much to my teaching life I feel the need to reciprocate.  Secondly, I want my students to blog and this experience is certainly giving me tremendous instruction in the art of learning by doing. The last reason (I’m aware of ) is that writing is a way for me to synthesize my thinking. It is a way to organize and quiet the ideas that are swirling in my mind into manageable bins.

Simply put my fear of blogging is quieted by my inspirational virtual colleagues, my desire to make a difference in my students’ lives and my need to sort out the mayhem my brain has become after about 300+ hours of twitter information.

One of the many things I love about writing is when it leads to the need to write more. Those hours on twitter and the messy state of my mind will be the purpose of my next post. That jump into the virtual world of twitter space and it’s profound effect on my thinking and daily behaviors the  good and not so good is my assignment. Stay tuned.