Soft Start Writing- After the Christmas Break I decided to start looking at a different "soft start" because we were doing book clubs and that reading time would be replacing individual book silent reading for a bit. I decided that my students needed an easy way to start reflecting on "beautiful words", beginning with quotes from Together is Better we started this reflective journey. It has been interesting trying to help the students gain greater comfort with sharing their ideas and thoughts. Today I tried some advice from Laura Robb (another great educator introduced to me through my friend Mary Howard) students sharing together in smaller groups before sharing with the class made some of the more reluctant students comfortable to share their ideas regarding today's quote. This is a work in progress but I celebrate this new addition to my classroom because it gives my students a chance to show their brilliance in a different way.
The Return of Journals- I celebrate reading journals because I love them. I have talked about them before and how students really did not like them this year. My heartbreak over it and my decision to let them go. Now cut to our book clubs and the idea of having to discuss their reading each week, to reflect and share in small groups. A logistical problem arose for many, "how do I keep track of a weeks ideas?" A simple suggestion of revisiting the journals, not for marks, not for judgment just as the tool to help that I always intended brought me these.
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