Six years of writing evolution, six years of resizing photos and playing with bells and whistles to accompany tips, ideas and rants, and six years of "meeting" other wonderful child advocates, early childhood specialists and teachers. I've been given various awards from fellow edubloggers, and enjoy following up on the memes that accompany them.
1. Capable of doing many things competently.
Jennifer over at Teaching With Grace recently shared the Versatile Blogger Award with me (thank you, thank you Jennifer!), one of my favorites to receive because it includes wonderful rules based on sharing a bit about yourself while you also share the love by linking to other bloggers. I love to build my professional learning community: blogging allows us to reach out, meet, learn from, and share and commiserate with one another. The rules are:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Include a link to his or her site.
3. Include the award image in your post and/or blog.
4. Share seven facts about yourself.
5. Nominate other bloggers for the award, linking
to their sites.
6. Let those bloggers know they have been nominated.
"Easy peasy" as my Super Stars would say! As I've already finished the first three, it's time to share some info about myself with you:
~ I'm a sporadic crocheter. I'll go for years without picking up a hook and yarn, and then *boom*, I'll see the perfect skein or encounter the perfect weather (cold) and I'm compelled to nest on the couch for three or four days, completing a project. My family
gives me my space. They don't want to lose an eye.
~ I'm the Cookie Fairy at my school. At the beginning and end of every year and once each quarter, I bake massive amounts of cookies to leave in the teachers' lounge. I don't get to visit with many of my colleagues regularly, and frankly if the only ways I can support them are by a) staying out of their way, b) not creating any drama and c) providing them with homemade goodness, then people, that's exactly what I'll do. Get the butter up to room temperature, will you?
~ I'm unsure how best to propose that the Common Core be interpreted as a guide and not just a mandated curriculum, at least as far as kindergarten is concerned. With many standards prefaced "With guidance and support from adults..." (which does not indicate mastery) I know parents, teachers and administrators still want to know exactly what skills should be mastered by the end of the school year, and want to know if it's right to send students on to the first grade if they're not-yet-proficient on skills that didn't begin with that preface.
I've previewed assessment packets that include all of the common core standards and have been amazed at their producers' (many of them teachers) complete and utter avoidance of the obvious: you'll either have time to assess your students, or you'll have time to teach them. You won't have both. Children require exposure to and experience with concepts and materials, lots of exploration and practice, and must create connections in order to comprehend relevance and to develop new skills with purpose. Use the Core as a guide for instruction and experience, but don't add every single standard to an itemized list that must be checked off and graded each quarter. Data hounds may want the checklist, but your students need time well spent in a developmentally appropriate learning environment.
Children learn at their own pace in their own time, so differentiation is a logical tool to use to meet their needs. Differentiation is not the appropriate tool to satisfy the adult need of being able to claim that every child reads at the same level on any given day by May. It's difficult and frustrating to not find many authentic and well-informed advocates for our students.
~ New visitors to my blog, I get off on a rant from time to time. See above.
~ Though my students know I love sparkly things, coffee, and mani-pedi's, they don't know my favorite bird is the hummingbird. Unless their parents Google me, and in this day and age, they probably will.
~ Though I've worn Opium and Gautier perfumes for over a decade, my students still tell their parents I smell like cookies and coffee. E-v-e-r-y year my scent comes up during parent teacher conferences or in an email. Thankfully no one ever gives me bath gel or soap as teacher appreciation gifts, so I figure they're not dropping hints at my hygiene.
~ I discover new-to-me-yet-well-established-to-everyone-else music regularly. It's like my ears are in some sort of time distortion when it comes to Top 40. Case in point: Kings of Leon have been rockin' for some time now. This summer my auditory filters finally allowed me to hear them and I ended up shopping for iTunes over the course of an afternoon immersing myself in their sound. My family gave me my space though I swear I wasn't dancing around the house with a crochet hook in my hand.
Who would I recommend you visit? Most certainly:
~ Mrs. Lundquist's Superlative Science Blog (check out her lab pets!)
~ Susan at Kindergarten is the Best: she's full of enthusiasm as she shares links, ideas, and products she's created for the classroom. She's a binder queen like I am too!
~ ...and don't miss Mrs. Poulin's Blog and subscribe to her Kindergarten Scoop.it! online magazine for links to informative, helpful and entertaining posts from the wide world of early childhood!