Monday, 30 September 2013

September

It's over. September is one of the craziest months of my working life. Well, September and June! You can tell it is crazy busy by the number if posts and number if km's walked. I didn't even get to 50 km this month with walking, and only 3 blog posts. I made it though!  I'm feeling a little more in control, feeling like I have a bit of a handle on the kids in my class, feel like we are deep into the routines of school life.

.....now to get over this cold :)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Emerging Readers

To me, nothing is greater than getting kids excited about books.

I have one student in my class who has never read a chapter book. I've done all kinds of songs and dances so far this year trying to find a book for him to read. They're all too long, too boring, not enough pictures, and simply not interesting enough. I found one this week that was about bunnies - an Animal Ark adventure. I showed it to him and he agreed to have a look. He came to me and said, "Mrs. Ackroyd, I really prefer books that have a picture on every page. There aren't enough pictures in here." I encouraged him to give it a go. The sales pitch didn't go well. Finally, I resorted to bribery.

"If you read this book I'll give you a no homework ticket."

I knew that is his weak spot. (hee hee)

He took on the challenge. Yesterday he came to me and told me he was finished! It took him four days. The book was 133 pages. He said, "I feel so proud of myself! I've never read a book this big before!"

I could have just hugged the poor boy to death. The principal walked by about then and so I grabbed her and said, "You've got to see what he's done!" She gave him a suitable amount of praise and love. She said, "I'm dying to hear what you read next!" I said, "Oh ya! If you read this book, do you think you might be able to read another?" He said maybe he'd give it a go.

Here's hoping!!!

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I have some kids in my class who spend all of quiet reading time perusing the books in the library corner. Drives me bonkers! I finally decided enough was enough. I got the book on CD of The Invention of Hugo Cabret and got some head phones and one of those doo-hickies that allows multiple kids to listen at the same time. I picked three kids - two of which just don't stick with books (one I put in there just because with that one there won't be any silly behavior issues....maybe a calming influence??) They seem to really be enjoying the book. Today was one of my favorite moments.

Everyone in the room is finally quiet and into their books. Suddenly, there's a stirring at the listening center. Something exciting has happened in the book. One of the boys suddenly says (you know how when you have ear phones on and you don't realize you're talking loud?), "Oh. My. God!"

Everyone in the class stopped and had to know what was going on.

I love love love that he was so into the story that he had to vocalize his shock.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A New Attitude

I was reading in 1 Nephi today and was struck by the story of Laman and Lemuel and Nephi. It was clear to me that murmuring and grumbling is a way to not hear God's voice. It is interesting that Laman and Lemuel went with Nephi and Sam to get the plates after Lehi asked them to go back to Jerusalem, but all along the way they grumbled and murmured about it.

It made me think of myself. I sometimes spend a lot of energy grumbling about all the things I have to do for other people. I have decided that this year I will stop grumbling and just enjoy it. Driving kids is a great time to visit with them and strengthen our relationship. Waiting for kids is a great time to read or to walk - a person can walk anywhere. I just have to remember to always have the right shoes with me! And serving other people is a great opportunity to feel the spirit and get closer to God - if I'll only not grumble about it.

Laman and Lemuel grumbled. Nephi instead got a fixed determination to accomplish what he'd been asked to do. No wonder he was the stronger one.

And 1 Nephi 4:1 is a great thing to remember. God is mightier than all. If I put him first and make sure I'm reading my scriptures daily I'm sure he will help me make it through the long list of things there are to do each day.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

News

Can you tell school is in full swing? I haven't been posting much because I've been running off my feet. We've had a good beginning to the year though.

Peirce's school started the year off by being in the news. He isn't in the clip, but it was pretty cool to have his school in the news anyway.



My school was in the news too. They did a piece on charter school waits. You can see me twice in this clip.


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