I'm so happy that Ruth Ayres started a Celebrate Link-Up on her blog!!! I will be joining the celebration every Saturday!!
Here are my celebrations this week:
1. My week started out on Sunday in Columbus; more specifically Easton Town Center, a great outdoor shopping and dining area, with my senior daughter and her friend. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we had a great time eating at yummy restaurants and buying fall clothes. You gotta love it when your day ends with this:
A s'more cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory is definitely worth celebrating!
2. We followed up the shopping experience with a college visit at The Ohio State University the next day. I blogged all about that at my Tuesday's Slice of Life post. We had a great time, and my daughter loved O.S.U.!
I loved the positive messages The Boo Radley Society left on the sidewalk of The Oval. I want to celebrate that wonderful group - their mission is to leave random acts of kindness around campus. Awesome!
3. I loved returning to the classroom on Tuesday and hearing that my students missed me!
4. Megan Ginther and I were so excited to hear from an editor at Stenhouse Publishers that she'd be happy to meet us in Boston when we're there for the NCTE Annual Convention in November and talk about our book proposal! We're trying not to get TOO excited, and no matter what happens, we've had a great time writing and collaborating and publishing our articles for Choice Literacy. We celebrated submitting our November article to Brenda on Wednesday!
5. My students are loving our district's new Chrome Books. The fifth graders used them this week to write their fractured tales, and the sixth graders used them to write their myths. We're learning all about Google Drive together and how to share documents. I'm commenting on their writing through Google and helping them revise and edit. I have lots to learn, but it's fun to learn WITH the students. Of course, some of them are quickly becoming experts and surpassing what I know. They love when I call them my tech experts and refer other students to them. I think it's so important to celebrate our roles as teacher learners, learning right alongside our students in this age of 21st century education. If we waited to be the only expert in technology in the classroom, we'd paralyze ourselves. It's so much better to jump right in and let the kids know we don't understand it all, but we're willing to try it out! I love how fearless and excited they are about technology!
6. I'm reading and finishing up Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff, and it was so fun to have my class cheer at the part when Rump discovers his full name. When a cliffhanger happens soon after, they groaned and begged me not to stop. (My students have fun ribbing me about how I always stop at a cliffhanger and how mean I am about that. Ha.) I love the power of a good read aloud! I also loved it when one of my students was walking back to his seat when I stopped reading and said to me, "That part is like the song 'Radioactive' by Imagine Dragons." I responded with great interest (I love that song), "Really? Why?" He started explaining that he thought the song meant you were breaking out of your chains and what binds you to become who you want to be. WOW! Regardless of what people think that song is about, I LOVED that he made this connection based on what he thought the book and song were saying. I pulled the lyrics up on the Smart Board, and we all read them and talked about it. It made for a great spontaneous discussion!
7. It's my mission this year to have students who are new to my class (since I moved from 4th to 5th, I have all my students from last year in my class plus a few more newly identified kids) read Wonder since I read it to my students last year, and we talk about it so often. It comes up all the time when we make connections to new books, so I didn't want my new students to feel left out. It's making its way around, and it's so fun to relive the impact the book makes on its new readers. My former students get all excited when someone begins the book or when someone finishes it. A lot of them are rereading it, too. We're doing the same with The One and Only Ivan. They've become our touchstone texts. I love that my former students continue to champion these two books. They also tell our new students, "You should hear Mrs. Mueller's Ruby voice!" :-)
8. As of this week, we've raised a little over $3,000 for our Water for South Sudan project, inspired by A Long Walk to Water. We have one more project on Tuesday when I present to our local Rotary Club, and then we'll see where we are. Our goal is $5,000. The whole experience has been so inspiring and fun. Several of my students were happy to give up their Friday night to sell our #ReadWalkWater bracelets at the home football game last night in the freezing cold. I'm definitely celebrating their dedication to this project!
9. Speaking of the football game, lots of people came out to celebrate our district's seniors last night. It was so cold, but school spirit doesn't stop for anything! I'm new to the district, and a tradition I didn't know Kings had was for each player on the varsity football team to choose a teacher he wanted to honor and recognize with a hand-written letter and a jersey. Two of my fifth grade teacher colleagues got chosen. I love that even in high school, these boys remembered their elementary teachers!
10. Last but not least, I celebrate Saturday mornings! It's chilly out today, but all the trees have turned beautiful colors, so they brighten up the landscape. I love sleeping in, having time to blog and read blogs, walking the dog, and even having an hour or two to read. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!
What are YOU celebrating this week?!