Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Slice of Life: Looking Back and Looking Forward


During this last week of the school year…

I wonder how it can already be the end of the year.  Has this school year actually gone by faster than the previous year? It certainly feels like it has.  It seems as if students were just walking through the front doors of the school, their backpacks filled with new school supplies and their smiling faces showing all the excitement and anticipation that a new school year brings.  Now, it’s already June and another school year is coming to an end.

I watch and listen as two first graders read side-by-side, propped up with pillows in the reading corner with Little Bear’s Friend in between them.  I think back to the beginning of the year and remember when they were reading the simplest of texts, each page with one sentence heavily supported with picture clues.  I listen to them work through difficult parts of the text together, reread parts to make it sound more fluent, and giggle about the story as they make meaning.  I celebrate this growth in their skills.  More importantly, I celebrate that these students now see themselves as readers.

I hope my students will continue to read over the summer.  I’ve stressed the importance of summer reading and tried to encourage them to read.  I’ve told them about summer reading programs at a local bookstore and the library.  I’ve given booktalks so students could start creating a summer reading wish list of titles they are interested in reading. I’ve discussed when, where, and what they can read this summer.  I’ve shown a video created by Dav Pilkey, about being a reading superhero, and I’ve reminded my students that reading will help them maintain their brain power.  I’ve given away books as I’ve weeded through my bookshelves.  I hope my students find time to relax and enjoy the warm, summer days, but also remember to read.

I plan for my own summer reading as well.  The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan is the first children’s book on my own summer reading wish list.  I also have a stack of professional books that I can’t wait to learn from.  Visible Learning for Literacy, DIY Literacy, Creating Cultures of Thinking, and the newly ordered Hacking Leadership, because I just started hearing about it on Twitter, are some of the books in my stack.  I have plans for my summer professional development, as well.  I am looking forward to attending ILA in Boston this year.  I’m teaching a workshop on writing with mentor texts for Buzzards BayWriting Project, my local organization of the National Writing Project. I am also attending the Summer Institute in Digital Literacy at the University of Rhode Island.  I plan and look forward to the learning and new knowledge I know I will gain this summer.

I look back and I look forward.  This is what I do during the last week of the school year.


                  






9 comments:

  1. We are like-minded!! Friday's my last day of teaching 3rd grade and I, too, posted today my summer reading plan!! https://readandwritebysally.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/my-summer-reading-plan/
    I may need to add a few of your titles to mine! Happy Reading!!

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    1. There are so many good books out there...so little time!

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  2. I'm glad to see you're so passionate about reading. Hopefully, some of that passion rubs off on your students. I worry about the decline in reading for pleasure in the US. I'm hoping we can turn this trend around.

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    1. I hope it rubs off. The decline in reading worries me, too. I try really hard to get my students interested in reading. I really believe that if a student doesn't enjoy reading, that student just hasn't found the right book.

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  3. I'm glad to see you're so passionate about reading. Hopefully, some of that passion rubs off on your students. I worry about the decline in reading for pleasure in the US. I'm hoping we can turn this trend around.

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  4. Oh Little Bear's Friend! I love that book and just thinking about your second grade students reading it is priceless. As literacy advocates we always strive to alleviate the summer slide but regardless of where they are when we see them in the fall, we pick them back up and move on. You have a great list of books to keep you busy over the summer, Lisa. Thanks for sharing! I'm off to check out Dav Pilkey's reading superhero video. ~Amy

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    1. Thanks for reading! Dav Pilkey has a couple of good videos on youtube to share w/students about the importance of reading. We can try and try to stop the summer slide, but you're right that we'll be there to help students move forward from where they are in the fall.

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  5. My oldest granddaughter just finished first grade, & is "right there", so proud to be reading all kinds of books, like the Little Bear ones. Enjoy your vacation reading!

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    1. First grade is such a fun year! You must really enjoy listening to your granddaughter read.

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