I know we, as a society, are sort of not into Rebecca Black, but let me tell you: Today, this song gives me LIFE. Because today is Fri-day, Friday, Friday. It's been a long time since I've been so moved by a day of the week, but here I am.
Last night my niece graduated from 8th grade. Her middle school teacher is one of my very dear friends, so I was privileged to hear both of them speak last night about this great experience coming to an end. It was moving and lovely. My niece attends a Montessori school where I worked for five years. I wasn't a certified Montessori teacher and I generally worked on the website, fundraising, admissions, and other projects. I did work with students often and got to see and first-hand the work that Montessori does for kids. It's beyond a different method of teaching academics. The philosophy rests heavily on a foundation of character building, independence, and leadership. Last night was a good reminder and fitting bookend to my week working with my Summer Club on leadership in groups. And whenever I am around my former Montessori colleagues, I feel regenerated in my teaching practice and philosophy. It helps me to stay grounded.
So this morning, I'm going to ask students to write about someone who they think is a leader and why. It's a simple topic, but I would like to hear from them what qualities of a leader they are observing in the people they look up to. For our morning message, I'm going to turn it around and ask them to think about something that makes them proud of themselves and look for those leadership qualities internally. UPDATE: Everyone who shared their writing had written about another person IN THE CLASSROOM! Yet again, I am overwhelmed by the character these students are showing. Total success in the first week. #BolteOUT
Two of my perfect angels have already published books this week. They decided that they wanted to make picture books for the other reading club (with younger students). Today, they went next door, read their stories to the class and gifted the books to that group so that they can read them during their silent reading time if they wanted. They are awesome! And when we talked about something we're proud of ourselves for during morning meeting, they each said that reading the book and giving it to the other class was something they were proud of (ME TOO!). They're rock stars!
Writer's Workshop: Appropriately enough, I was listening to a podcast this morning and a comedian was telling a story about a bunch of crows outside his house cawing through the day for five days in a row. He came to find out they were teaching their baby crows to fly. He kept saying how there were 20-30 crows and I kept thinking his bit would be much funnier if he actually called them a murder of crows, which is the term used for a group of crows. I'm clearly not a comedian, so I really have no authority on the matter, but you totes agree with me, right?
The book I'm reading today is called There Is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith (who has illustrated bunches of Jon Scieszka's books). It is really just a list of groups of animals and things. Some are made up terms and some are real. I think it's just a really creative book and I think the kids will like it - plus GROUPS! (See what I did there? Clever, right?)
Reader's Workshop: I'm reading Stellaluna today, which is all about working at something in which you struggle and finally finding the thing you are good at. I like it because the characters are loveable and the story is good on its own, but also fits in the context of the SEL-type lessons we are working on this summer.
What Miss Bolte is Reading: I'm still reading about vocabulary! You know what's frustrating? During our silent reading time the past three days, I've been interrupted - not by students - by ADULTS! I mean, sure, they weren't privy to the schedule we created in our group or the lesson on what is expected during our Reader's Workshop time. I get it. It makes it hard for me to be a good model when I have to have conversations in the middle of that time. Also it makes it hard for me to get through my book!!