Raising a Reader II

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I’ve been so excited with my little pumpkin! She is growing up so fast! Friday she started crawling–and she is not content to sit still any longer! Victor said yesterday, “Now, the Bebita is just looking around for something to touch. She doesn’t want her toys–she wants shoes, or cords, or…”

One of the most exciting things about her crawling is that she chooses to be with us now. I will leave her playing in the living room, before I know it–she’s made her way to the kitchen or the bathroom. She grins up at me so proud of herself. Or sometimes she will be playing at my feet, and when I look down at her she reaches for me. Ahh… It makes this mama’s heart so very happy…

Now that she’s making choices on where she goes, she also is making choices on what she does there. So the teacher’s corner of my heart was happy when she crawled to her carpet, picked up a book, turned over on her back–and started “reading.” Because for her, that’s what it is: reading!

Sweet little Squish, you become more fun every single day.

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The Summertime Blues

Oh, I got ’em.  I got ’em bad.  And you know what they say: Ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.

I feel like such a wiser teacher here in Mexico.  I remember how I used to be so determined to keep things as normal as possible at the end of the year.  I would do word study and writing until the very last minute.  No longer, my friends.  No longer.  And no longer do I have administrators who demand that I stick to content until June 14th.

I am taking advantage of the last two weeks of school.  Don’t get me wrong: we have assessments and reports to write.  I have a list that I am checking twice.  But I have fewer naughties and a lot more nice.  I attribute that to the great wise counsel of my mama.

“Jania,” she used to say, “You just need to have a little fun.  It’s that time of year.”  Of course Mama said this in December too.  That’s the other time of year that teachers go a little nutty.

I’ve finally realized the wisdom in her words.  Fun is to be had by all.

We worked on team decision making skills.  As a team they had to decide their favorite thing about second grade (from a whole class generated list).  Then the team decided their second favorite.  Each team split into two equal groups.  Each group began to design a poster.  Then to make it interesting, they switched posters.  Ahhh… how I love seeing my kiddos stretched all over the floors working their fingers to the bone.

Let me tell you: I’m not thinking of selling them to the highest bidder.  That’s an improvement on past years.

It makes sense you know.  If I am tired and have the blues, I understand why my students groan over the boring assignments.  If my colleagues get on my nerves, it makes sense that classmates are not fun to be around right now.  And if my favorite part of the day is reading Charlotte’s Web to my students–doesn’t it make sense that they would be super excited about having their own book to read along with me?  (I do one redneck Lurvy, if you don’t mind me bragging a little.)

Summertime blues, yes.  They are here with a vengeance.  But I found the cure.  It’s called enjoying-my-last-days-with-the-kids-by-doing-things-we-love-all-the-while-counting-down.  Whew!