Friday, March 7, 2014

My Week was W.R.A.D.!

WOW---it's been one of those weeks.  End of the quarter rush for teachers entering grades, the typical third quarter slump, and a winter that is like the hairball the cat can't quite cough up (which is why I don't have a cat). The highlight of my week, though, was World Read Aloud Day (#WRAD14). March 5th marked this day of celebrating the joys of reading aloud. We read anything...a story, a poem, the announcements...  Kids needed to see that reading and presenting aloud was something worth sharing.  Oral reading fluency is a gift well-practiced.  A treasure born through generations of storytelling.


A host of activities took place throughout the school.  Some I participated in; some were done by the classroom teachers themselves.  It was great to see teachers willing to do something they hadn't done before.  Mr. Swanson's third grade class conducted student interviews, recorded on iPad, for sharing and grading later.  Students really had to work hard to speak and read clearly.  Great practice!



Mrs. Schmidt, the boisterous, gutsy, MS Resource teacher who never lets a good challenge go unaccepted, read poetry to our middle schoolers during their lunch periods.  While utterly confused and astonished by the fact that a teacher was reading to them in a slightly bizarre locale, they quickly realized that it was pretty cool.  The second group even clapped afterward.  That's middle school code for "thanks, Teach!"



I ended the day in 5th grade with one of my daring teacher souls who isn't afraid to let me come in with my wild ideas while showing complete faith in me (or she fakes it REALLY well).  A few weeks ago, I connected with a fellow Iowa teacher on Twitter.  We were both in search of classrooms with which to interact for #WRAD14.  Her 5th graders from Sioux Central in Sioux Rapids were a fantastic group of kids who were just as eager to share some read alouds.  They shared about their favorite books through posters and short booktalks and excerpts, while Mrs. Den Hartog's kids shared treasured poems about topics from bad student excuses to boogers, read during their recently wrapped up unit.  I giggled, as this is the stuff that lights up a fifth grader.  Completely disgusts most adults, mind you, but enamores the young. Everybody had smiles and laughter on both sides of the Skype screen throughout our 30 minutes together.  All through reading aloud.  Simple pleasure.


Our captive Sioux Central audience via Skype
Reading a revolting (but funny) poem aloud
                   
Truth be told, it needs to warm up outside.  Like now.  I'm likely to need a straight jacket should another snowflake fall.  A padded room should the temp drop below zero again.  My vitamin D deficiency has reached DEFCON 5.  At least I have #WRAD weeks like this to carry me through 'til Spring.






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