This week has been really busy with all the testing and creating we have been doing. I just wanted to take this time to let you know that you don't always have to be perfect.
It is easy to stress over tests and essays, but I have found that when you just take a couple minutes to slow down and take a deep breath it is easier to feel good about saying, "I'm finished. This is finished. I can send this out, and wait for it to come back to me when it needs to." That doesn't mean we need to just work through the motions and turn in whatever we get to. This means that once you have put the hard work into creating your essay, you can stop, let it go, and wait for Tuesday to get some of that feedback you need from your colleagues.
Rough drafts are meant to be rough. You should have all your thoughts put together, structured in the best way that works for you, but you are not making it perfect. This is your chance to get your ideas out in the world, and get that oh so very important feedback.
So sleep easy, worry less, and breathe full and deep. Relax. It is going to be okay.
After two very long, yet very short weeks, we are back in the thick of it all. I am so very proud of all of you for jumping right back into our work. We have started on our newest vocabulary venture, and we warmed up our speaking and listening skills through some really fun improvisations.
I know how difficult it is to just be apart of something so distant, something forgotten, or lost along the away. But I believe that we as a group have created a strong enough community, a sense of one another, our needs, and the needs of our class. Because of this our week went smoothly and we were able to get a whole lot done.
And isn't that what it is all about? Being together, working together on this planet, allowing our perceptions to be altered by the understanding of others and their perceptions, this is how we grow, how we learn, how we change our minds, change others' minds. This is how we change the world.
Keep up the amazing work. And yes, you can change the world, but we have to do it together.
I don't know about you but I had a blast this week. We really took our books to the next level, sharing our thoughts and opinions, analyzing themes and central ideas, and sharing our books with the class in some extremely creative and entertaining ways. I wish every week could be so action packed and run so smoothly as this one did. We pulled it off, and now onward to our newest adventure.
I know a lot can be going on over the next two weeks. For some this time can be a chance to relax, to visit family and friends, but for some it can also be a real trying and difficult time. I hope that those of you who are lucky enough to enjoy this time off, keep those of us who might find the time away difficult in your thoughts. We are all in this together in this beautiful ball of land and sea; that's not always easy to realize, yet it is even harder to ignore once we do.
So, as we move forward into this new year and make promises of of the promises we promise to keep, all I ask of you is keep on thinking. Think critically of the world around you, question things, imagine the world from a new perspective, from another's point of view. Don't be afraid to look beyond what is actually being said and just soak it all in; let your mind wonder.
Keep up the good work, and I can't wait to see you all next year!
p.s. I will update the weekly schedule sometime over the break, so you know what to expect when we get back.
I don't know about all of you, but I have been having a blast this week. We have been really getting into the work in our literature circles, continuing those discussions, and beginning to analyze what we see in our books beyond what is actually being said. This is my favorite part.
As we continue in this path and finish up our books we must begin to wonder how might we share our experience with our books with the rest of the class, the school, the world even! Today we took the time to get ourselves into the world of book projects (there is a list of possible projects in the google classroom, along with a copy of the project proposal form waiting for teacher approval). We even had some time to get started on them. I am so incredibly excited for the work I saw today, and I can't wait for the final products. They are due Friday!
Next week is going to be very busy, with working on our projects, analyzing our books, and getting ready for our fishbowl discussions, there will be little time to waste. Don't worry though, I have it planned to where you can do most if not all of the work in class (hopefully only some reading at home will be necessary).
So... Here we go!
This week has been a busy one. We spent most of our time getting to know our groups and our books, with a little bit of a detour where we were able to focus on some argumentative work together. We had our first two official literature circle discussions! We were prepared for these, everyone had a chance to get involved in these discussions, and (by the second one) we were able to stay on topic and really get into our book. In fact, everyone kept discussing even after time was up! Way to go.
We even had a spelling test on Friday. You will most definitely have more time to get yourself prepared for the next one. Yes, the next one...
I hope you all are ready to discuss even more next week. Have your books on Monday, with your notes, and we will start to explore how we can best share our books–our thoughts, our understanding, our perspectives– with the world!
Thank you so much for making it to conferences. We are one student shy of making 100% attendance, and I am in the process of getting that person in as soon as possible.
This week is always a difficult time. It can be real stressful to plan fun times with the family, to cook, to hangout, to forget about cleaning until the moment you need to clean. And the cat that just passed out on your lap is way too heavy, and warm, and purring at the perfect decibel level to keep the baby snoring through those drool bubbles; no way you are getting up now.
So, it can wait.
I urge you all to take some deep breaths, relax, and enjoy the time you have on this beautiful earth with those you love.
I look forward to seeing all of you next week. Get ready to read!
This is where you can check and see a brief overview of what we have done as a class each week. My intention is to keep this up to date with happenings, assignments, trends, previews of the following week, and anything else that needs to be shared with my students and their families. I may not always get something written each week, but I will do my best to be disciplined in keeping you informed.