Wonder Wednesday - How Do I Know If I'm Getting It Right?
After seventeen days of the new school year, I find myself WONDERing how things are proceeding in the classroom. I always have a vision of what I want my classroom to look like, sound like, and feel like. Of course this vision is before the twenty-eight students show up at my door. Isn't is amazing how those little eager learners can change, enhance, and even disrupt our vision.
As each day comes to an end, I sit at my desk and WONDER how the day went...
Did I accomplish my goals for the day?
Did I reach all of my students and make them feel worthy?
Did each of my students grow as a reader?
While planning each day, I want books and reading to be the large "umbrella" that covers us from the beginning of our day together until the very last minute that my students leave. My goal is to take things slow, easy, and to linger on the elements of learning that I hold true to my heart. Each fall as I progress through September and head into October, it seems that the district, school, and team goals start to over-take my vision. I WONDER why this is?
Our day begins with our first independent reading time. The readers have the choice of a variety of picture books to read from. Some of the students choose to read from their novels, which is totally alright with me.
The first part of our morning meeting is sharing a picture book that I present to the class. They absolutely love it and are all ears and eyes. The discussions that stem from these books are amazing.
Right after lunch we begin our reading workshop. I provide the readers with fifteen minutes of silent reading where they can start the reading zone with whatever text they would like. Our second fifteen minutes of the reading zone is spent reading from a "Club Book". These are books that I have introduced to the class as texts I deem worthy and encourage them to read. Talk about building a reading community. The excitement of seeing my students reading from "top-notch" graphic novels and/or chapter books, is palpable.
The reading workshop comes to an end with our class read aloud. I began the year with Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. This choice has been a hit and I am thrilled I decided to start the year with it. We will wrap up this read aloud in October with a Skype visit with the author.
As I sit in staff and team meetings where we discuss testing, data and the direction the district is heading, I often ask myself, "Am I getting things right in my own classroom?" It just seems I differ from the larger vision.
In my heart I know I'm doing the right thing, but to be honest, I do WONDER from day to day how I am doing with my own personal "vision" and if I am creating the "WILD" readers that I so want to create, foster, and release into this WONDERful world...
This one gets me every time!
How cute is this!