Sunday, April 10, 2016


          I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out how to reflect on my PD experience at #TheEdCollabGathering. I learned so much and I wanted to share it all with you. On Saturday, April 2, 2016, I was up at 6:45 a.m. for an opportunity to participate in workshops that were led by current leaders in the reading world. I watched reading gurus share their latest thinking, research and practices. While watching the live streaming, I was invited to be a part of the conversation by posting comments, favorite quotes and questions on Twitter under #TheEdCollabGathering.
          I listened to Smokey Daniels & Sara Ahmed at Curiosity-Driven Curriculum: from Identity to Inquiry tell me how important curiosity is in school. They encouraged me to implement inquiry in the classroom by starting with wonder walls and identity webs. I would like to try placing wonder walls up during open house to encourage families to ask questions, comment and wonder about the upcoming school year. Curiosity feeds right in to the inquiry-based learning that our school is moving towards. I can’t wait to learn more about this. 

           Kristin Ziemke & Katie Muhtaris at Amplify! Digital Pedagogy for Today andTomorrow inspired me to start using Padlet to celebrate student work. This week, I started recording students retelling stories they had been reading. I then posted the story on a Padlet that was shared with families on Facebook. I haven’t turned this task over to students, yet, because I was becoming familiar with the technology myself. My learning curve for new technology is steep.

The Two Writing Teachers Blog at Maximizing Independent Writing Time by Creating Conferring Toolkits reinforced good practices when conferring with students on writing. I was reassured that I am doing things right! When I go into kindergarten classrooms during writing time, my toolkit includes: cover-up tape, a Crayola marker, and plain white paper. After listening to the Two Writing Teachers Blog speakers I added highlighter tape. This is used to model spacing so students don’t have to use their finger.

          Jen Vincent & Taylor Meredith at Conscious Coaching reminded me to build relationships and to celebrate the big and small things. When building relationships I need to remember to stay open to listening and ask open ended questions such as: What might…? What are some ways, thoughts, ideas…? Keeping the questions open ended will help guide teachers to their own answers.

I am drawn to this type of PD because of several reasons. One, it was FREE. Two, I could participate from the comfort of my own home. Finally, I could participate on Twitter as much or as little as I wanted in a risk free environment. I loved the PD in my PJs.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Childhood Memories

My mom cleaned out her hope chest. When I went home for a few days during  spring break she had it waiting for me. 

Almost every report card was saved. I noticed that my teachers reported my reading ability higher than I remember it being. My 8th grade teacher made fun of me as I stuttered my way through my assigned paragraph during a whole class round robin. I wonder how I got A's and B's that year when my fluency was so choppy. I couldn't have been comprehending very well. 

Here are a few work samples.

My friends laughed at me when they saw this one because this one is out of character. I am a rule follower. This work sample is from first grade.

This work sample was from kindergarten. I included some pretty good details for a 5 year old. 

I like the belly button and long eyelashes in this self-portrait.


I really like the arms coming out of this self-portrait. I don't know what animal I drew next to me.