I had an amazing week. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It might be hard to keep my post to only five things, but I’ll give it a try.
Here we go!
My good pal Mr. Johnny Schu is on the Newbery committee this year. It is quite an honor to be on the committee for what I think is the coolest award in the universe (Sorry Heisman Trophy). The only bad thing, and it is a very small thing, is that we cannot celebrate 2013 books together. We do these things we call “trifectas”, where we celebrate a book on his blog, this blog, and Nerdy Book Club all on the same day.
Well, guess what? It is almost 2014, and The Schu and I got to celebrate a 2014, book trifecta style. On Monday, John debuted the cover to Jenni Holm’s 2014 masterpiece The Fourteenth Goldfish, I interviewed Jenni about “my idea”, and I also did a 5,4,3,2,1 interview with Jenni on Nerdy Book Club.
Celebrating books with Mr. Schumacher is always fun.
Teaching writing is messy. I’m not sure how messy it is when our favorite authors publish the books my kids love, but when those same kids publish their writing in my class things probably look a little crazy. I’m working on being a lot more flexible in how my students publish. Microsoft Word feels SO 2006.
My students are currently working on writing opinion pieces to wrap up our Mock Caldecott unit. As they move the process I’m really enjoying talking with them about what tool is going to work best for publishing their essay. We are having some great discussions about purpose and audience. Two of my favorite tools that they are using to publish are Write About This and Show Me (both iPad apps).
I’ll probably share more about our publishing journey in a separate post.
3. A Third Grade Teacher
For the first time this year I felt like a third grade teacher. Up until that point, I had felt like a fourth grade teacher impersonating a third grade teacher. That’s a weird feeling to have. My teaching partner has really helped me celebrate the tremendous progress our students have made since Labor Day. Once I embraced that, and calmed down a bit, everything seemed to start going a lot better. She helped me see that the anxiety I was constantly having, may have been having an impact on my students. She was right. Thursday and Friday were by far and away our two best days of the school year. I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish in the last two weeks before break.
4. Ricky Ricotta
My first grade son has Dav Pilkey fever, and he has it bad. Two weekends ago he spent more than 12 hours reading and rereading Captain Underpants One (in full color). I recently purchased the first 7 books in Dav’s Ricky Ricotta series. My son has been carrying all of the books around with him, EVERYWHERE. After reading a couple of them last night, he asked me if he could cuddle with them as he slept. My kids have fallen asleep with a lot of books in their days, but this is the first time one of them has asked to cuddle with books.
I am always impressed with the effect that community can have on a group of people or a classroom. This whole Nerdlution movement that has taken place on Twitter over the last week has inspired me to be a better writer, a better blogger, a better teacher, and a more fit person. Who knows what week two will bring, but I’m sure excited to find out.
If you are a little confused about Nerdlution, be sure to check out Chris Lehman’s post Nerdlution and So Can You (FAQ).