Almost Halfway!

Today marks the almost halfway mark! You know... the day just before the day that is halfway? That one. That's today!

Things I'm looking forward to this weekend:

1. Finishing my book.

2. Returning said book and others to the library and picking up those that are waiting for me.

3. Getting my hair did.

I would like to make it to the beach at some point. Today was going to be the day, but it's a bit windy (which means sand EVERYWHERE) and a bit cloudy. I'm frustrated that my free time isn't matching up with appropriate weather patterns. To whom do I speak about this problem?

Today the kids will be talking about how they communicate the need for help. Good leaders ask for help when they need it and I want students to be thoughtful about how they do this. What I've observed in my short time as a teacher is that some students are so dependent upon "help" from the teacher that they rarely make a decision without checking in first. I learned very quickly to say, "Hmmm. I'm not sure. What do you think?" (It took me a while longer to make sure I didn't sound sarcastic, but I think I've got it down now!) The other side of the coin is students who just sit at their desks doing nothing because they got stuck and aren't sure what to do next. This behavior confounds me. I usually ask, "What are you working on?" in order to get a conversation going that might become, "How can I help you with that?"

Writer's Workshop: I pretty much just tried to fit this book in anywhere I could. It's HIL.AR.I.OUS. I Want My Hat Back chronicles the struggles of a bear looking for his precious red cone hat while he interviews other animals throughout the forest. He eventually finds his hat... and subsequently his lunch... This is another Jon Klassen book except this time he wrote AND illustrated it. Stay tuned for tomorrow's book, which is a "sequel" to this one. I picked this book for Writer's Workshop because of a specific moment of characterization. The bear is asking for his hat from different animals and most of them are basically saying, "Haven't seen your hat. Too bad, bro." Then he comes to a rabbit (who happens to be wearing a hat...) and the rabbit gets really (excuse the pun) jumpy and starts talking a mile a minute. I think the author is doing a great job of using dialogue to highlight personality traits. How would a guilty person talk in that situation?

Now, sure. The bear isn't specifically asking for help. And, sure. The bear's a little dimwitted. And, fine. The bear doesn't maybe have the best leadership skills in the face of frustration. BUT! It is a good way to have conversation about what the bear could have done instead and better ways to solve the problem.

There's so much expression in those little beady eyes Klassen draws.

Reader's Workshop: Yes. I chose this book just because I like it, too. Fine. You got me. This is a good book for showing what NOT to do when asking for help is easier. This would be a good non-leadership examples, and I think we could all use some of those in our discussions, too! This book also makes me laugh and the students always laugh whenever I read it. In fact, when I went around classrooms at a previous to school to introduce myself, I read THIS book to the classes. I'm still not tired of it! I love this book! This is another author/illustrator you'll see a lot now. Oliver Jeffers also wrote This Moose Belongs to Me, The Incredible Book Eating Boy and illustrated The Day the Crayons Quit, both of which are lovely, humorous stories. Stuck is about a boy whose kite gets stuck in a tree and in order to get it down, he starts throwing other things into the tree to knock it down including a whale, a firetruck, and his neighbor's house. He gets the kite back, but he's not terribly helpful with all the other things (and people) who are now stuck in the tree. You can watch the author reading a short excerpt from the book here on YouTube.

What Miss Bolte is Reading: With some effort I made it to page 428 last night. I've still got almost 200 pages to go. We will be attending a STEM assembly today (one of the other summer clubs) so we'll have to miss out silent reading time, which is a bummer for the students, but more importantly going to put a real wrench in my plans of getting some extra reading time in. I will likely finish it tomorrow night when no one is home and I will sit on the couch all night with the dog reading and reading and wondering why it's gotten so dark and maybe I should turn on this lamp and why do I keep yawning and I'm so tired but I can't be because it's only... *checks watch* ...only bedtime but that can't be right because I JUST sat down to read. Just like that.

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