Sunday, October 19, 2014

5 things I loved about last week

 It's so easy to get overwhelmed and allow a sense of hopelessness take over when you're a teacher. The work just never seems to be finished. So in the spirit of Colby Sharp and Elisabeth Ellington, I'm going to focus on some of the amazing things that happened this past week.

1. Author Carrie Harris visited my class

Carrie Harris, author of books such as Bad Taste in Boys, Bad Hair Day, and Demon Derby, came to visit my school on Wednesday to do a writing workshop with my 8th graders. Not only is Carrie's road to publication story riveting for kids to listen to, but the writing she did with my students for how to create a story plot from a single character will be a wonderful starting point for NaNoWriMo. Not only did my students create fantastic characters and story ideas this week, but I decided to keep my promise of writing with my students this year and was shocked to see that I, too, could come up with a storyline from first creating a character. If you live in Michigan or southeastern Ohio and teach middle or high school English, I highly recommend you invite Carrie to come write with your students!

2. Battle Bunny as Mentor Text
I've been writing a lot lately about how I love the book Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett. I had a pile of Little Golden Books just waiting for my students to deface them, and they did not disappoint. It was an assignment I took great joy from grading.
I laughed till I cried on this student's subversion of a Sesame Street Little Golden Book

3. Finishing presentations.  
 I'm presenting at both the Michigan Council of Teachers of English conference and the National Council of Teachers of English convention this in October and November. This weekend I finished my portion of the presentations I'm doing. Given how busy I am with grad classes and teaching, it feels good not to be getting things done at the last minute!

Check out what I'll be presenting about at NCTE (the first session listed is the one I'll also be talking about at MCTE):
Students CAN Write: Changing the Narrative of a Deficit Model
Heart and Mind: Stories and Ideas that Keep Us Teaching 

4. The excitement is building
Our empty lr and kitchen
This weekend we cleared out our first floor in anticipation of a hardwood flooring install tomorrow. Getting the hardwood flooring installed to me means one thing: we're getting closer and closer to the day (October 25th) that the new baby grand piano will be delivered. If you hadn't noticed, I can't flippin' wait!

5. Gets grading done... like a boss
This weekend I got all my grading done by early Saturday morning. That never happens. Usually I put it off until the end of the weekend. This weekend I didn't let it mock me from my giant rolley bag. I OWNED that rolley bag and got r' done! 

1 comment:

  1. Look at that grading all finished early Saturday morning! That's awesome. I'm getting another stack of papers this evening and hoping to start working on the grading tomorrow. We'll see. LOVE your students' subversions of picture books. Just a brilliant teaching idea--one I'm totally stealing for Children's Lit next semester.