Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Listening, hearing, attentive listening, paying attention--all terms that I associate when I become frustrated with another who I deem is not listening.
It's early on Wednesday morning, and I am the only one up in my house and I am bothered by all the noises around me.  The washing machine is humming, the coffee pot is gurgling, the bass on the radio is pounding, ever so softly, and the printer is churning out a copy that I need first thing today.
As my agitation grew, and as I discerned each sound, I realized that I am causing each one of them.  I am actually distracting myself.  Moving about the house to silence each of these "early distractions", I needed to know if I preferred the silence.

I'm now thinking and wondering if this occurrence, too many noises, to too much silence,  happens sort of unconsciously to people on a regular basis.  Do we pay attention enough to our inner thoughts and feelings to help us regulate our actions.

I'll continue pondering this idea as I bring back the "morning sounds".  First is the shower.

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's the 5th day of March, so I am thinking about my 5 MOST favorite things:

-musicals ( Broadway, Off-Broadway, local, school, any type)

-baked potato ( HOT, crispy skin with Kosher salt)

-walking (especially outside; getting the heart rate up)

-cookbooks (reading them for recipes AND for pleasure)

-scented burning candles (non-sweet scents)

I encourage my students to keep "numbered" lists of all sorts of groupings in their writer's notebooks as seed ideas for all types of writing.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday, 8th grade argument essays, a lake view, and a positive attitude- is there a commonality in this mix?
Yes!  I am determined today (Sunday), unlike many other Sundays, to keep a positive attitude as I read and score my students' argument essays.
I will remind myself often that argument writing is, and has been for my students, quite a challenge.  We did persevere, relying on LOTS of peer revising and conferencing sessions.  In addition, all students can analyze an Op-Ed for its elements, even if their own writing needs more practice.  Whose doesn't?
I am safe and warm this Sunday, unlike so many who are facing such unknowns due to the wrath of the recent tornadoes.
My view, when I need to re-focus as I am reading essays, is the fast rippling of water coming across the lake.  Even though the color of the view is mostly dreary, the movement of the water is truly worth my attention.
Here's to my FABULOUS Sunday.  Hope yours goes well too.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Every once in a while you THINK you have come across something that can be useful for students and teachers.
 I needed to make copies for a morning professional development session and decided that I would use the copier that was closest.  Before hitting "start", I needed to add paper.  I quickly grabbed a stack that was available from  shelf, then loaded the paper.  Copies complete.  I then went to the library to staple the 2 pages and realized that the copies were 3 hole punched along the left margin.  "Hmm, I didn't know the copier would make the holes.  I need to figure out where that setting is on the copier. We could save time in class if kids wouldn't need to always hole punch their work to store in their binders."

Not sure why I shared this "new" with a colleague who happened to be in the library.  She was eager for me to let her know where the setting was located on the copier though.  I proceeded on with my morning, working with 3rd grade teachers.

A time later, when I was passing out the article that I copied earlier, the "lightbulb" turned on.  All I did was put paper that was already 3 hole punched into the paper tray before printing.  I had to get to that colleague to let her know of my silly thinking.  Just like busy teachers, she had left that earlier thought and was really glad at that moment for a chance to simply chuckle.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

As a child, the phrase, "In like a lion, out like a lamb", was repeated and talked about each year.  The expectation was that as March progressed, the weather would move towards windier, warmer days, with the whistling of birds becoming more consistent.
Well, over the past years, the familiar phrase has turned inside out.  March 1st is uncommonly mild, both in temperature and wind speed, but as the end of the month rolls along, the mighty ROAR is heard on March 31st.  Another March to see what happens.