Archive for May, 2010

Welcome to Summer!

It is hard to believe the year is over!  It has been a wonderful, busy, full of surprises nine months!  Let’s take time to relax, renew, and recharge, and use the break to discover many wonderful things to bring back to the classroom. 

My summer reading list is a long one, and I look forward to spending some time with my favorite authors.  But I also look forward to long walks, hiking, and exploring new places.  I hope you have a long list of things you want to do this summer, too!

We will end this year with another tribute to what is happening in our classrooms.  This week, we will look at how one of our Willard North teachers worked on voice in Writing Workshop.  Listen to how Scarlett explains the project and then read the ebook the kids put together.  What a great way to integrate technology and writing strategies!

A second grade writing project

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Myebook – Frog, Where Are You?

Also, third grade at Willard South has been working very hard on creating their Technology Portfolios.  Under the leadership of our computer teacher, Mrs. Sims, and each third grade teacher,  the third graders created a collection of projects they have worked on this year.  Their portfolios are stored on Myebooks.  I will send you the username and password in my email this week.  What amazing things our teachers and students are doing!

Have a wonderful summer!



With just a couple of weeks left in the school year, our K-3 teachers “graduated” last week from the Missouri Reading Initiative.  Our trainer left us with videos of the learning and teaching that is taking place in our classrooms each day.  She also wrote us a poem. (Could we expect anything less from a reading and writing teacher?) Enjoy! 

Reflections on MRI Graduation 
MRI stands for reading and writing
In a Comprehensive Model
Not a medical name.
Though I must admit,
There were times it caused pain.
The workshops, the manual-
Overwhelming, at times, from Day 1
How were we ever

To get this all done?

Guided reading, leveled books, Daily Five,

Workstations, and those darn DRA’s.

Is this all worth learning?

Or just a passing phase?

Well, we dove right in and tried

This Comprehensive Model-

At least in Guided Reading

We now have time to sit!

Then 2nd year, we regrouped

And focused on our writing.

We learned to use

The pens, anchor charts, and mentor texts.

And kids began to produce

Work that was downright exciting!

In the 3rd year, deeper thinking was the goal.

Assessment to inform instruction,

Common beliefs, strategic behaviors,

The role of language,

The list is long!

Is this what once

Frustrated us so?

MRI’s been a journey,

Our knowledge hard earned

We’re amazed when we look back

At all we have learned.

We now speak the same language,

What’ve we learned is–

The “Apprenticeship” Frame

That reult in kid’s gains.

We’ve all worked together.

Now teach as an alliance.

So look at us—what we do-

Is truly Rocket Science!!!!


 Congratulations MRI Graduates!!!!!!!!

A Tribute to our Teachers

The end of the year is always so busy.  Teachers have so much to do as they end the year; assessments, writing prompts, curriculum work, and end-of-year festivities.  This morning as I was doing my journal reading, I came across this poem written for teachers.  I wanted to share it with you, and to say “thank-you” for all the hard work you do.



When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking

When you thought I wasn’t looking, you displayed my first report, and I wanted to do another.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, you fed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, you gave me a sticker, and I knew that things were special things.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, you put your arm around me, and I felt loved.
When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt–but that it’s all right to cry.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, you smiled, and it made me want to look that pretty too.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, you cared, and I wanted to be everything I could be.
When you thought I wasn’t looking–I looked…and wanted to say thanks for all those things you did when you thought I wasn’t looking.
                                                                                                                            – Mary Rita Schilke Korzan

The willingness to help each other and to share ideas is another tribute to the kind of teachers we have in our district.  This week one of our first grade teachers at WOHE shares an idea to help students find details in the text to answer the question.  Take a look at the activity sheet Wendy used with her students, and then watch her as she explains what she did.  Thanks Wendy for a great idea, and for sharing with the rest of us!

Finding Details in Text

Finding Details in Text Video Explanation