Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring in Our Step Linky & Giveaway

I can't describe how excited I am to be a part of my first linky with a giveaway!  I'm joining my blogger friend Marissa at Inspired Owl's Corner to celebrate her birthday and a major milestone in her blogging career!  It just so happens that yours truly has a birthday coming up this week, so I couldn't resist joining in the fun!  


So many wonderful things have happened this year that I feel all too blessed to be where I am with my students.  I've been reflecting on which moments this year put the MOST "spring in my step" to share with you. 

Well, I posted on this previous month's Currently linky that I would be spending my Spring Break recovering from my surgery...so far, so good!  I'm feeling better, and I'm looking forward to getting back in my exercise groove and having more energy!  I was also excited that, at the weigh-in before my surgery, I calculated that I've lost about 20 pounds or so since my highest weight.   Now that I have the surgery behind me, I need to get back on MyFitnessPal and get busy

March was also an exciting month for me as an ESL teacher because our district hosts an International Fair in the spring!  This year was our second year to do it, and we nearly tripled our participation and doubled our event turnout!  I was so excited!  The night was such a whirlwind that I didn't get to slow down long enough to look at ALL the projects, but all the student work that went into the performances and presentations was AMAZING!  I embedded my Flipagram below from the event.  Believe me...this is merely a GLIMPSE of all the ones I took from that night!  It was epic...and I was certainly #happy about that!  
 

P.S.  I have no idea why it won't center this Flipagram.  I've tried and tried, but I can't figure it out.  If you know, please comment below so I know for the future.  It's stressing me out!  LOL! 

So, before I totally leave the topic of International Fair, I have to give a tremendous shout out to my mind-blowing, awe-inspiring fourth graders & their projects.  We used my Heroes for Diversity unit to study the biography genre and write our own biographies of heroes that inspire us.  It's a project I began with my fourth graders last year to showcase diversity at our first International Fair.  This year's fourth graders were all to happy to continue the tradition.  In fact, after we'd had multiple unanticipated snow days and lost instructional time, I wasn't sure we were going to have enough time to thoroughly complete the project.  So I gave them two options...1) they could complete the project in our class time and we could save it for next year OR 2) they could work on it independently...meaning homework...and they could try to finish it in time to share at this year's fair.  They chose the second option, and YES, they DID THE HOMEWORK!  Can you believe it?  I was so impressed with their finished products and their work ethic that I couldn't stop bragging on them.  I even teared up because two of them chose to write about relatives in their family rather than famous heroes.  Reading their reflections on how their ancestors or siblings have influenced them was perhaps one of my proudest teacher moments.  Look at them working hard on their display board!


Speaking of reflections...I just did what has been the best professional development of my career!  I videotaped a few of my lessons recently and learned SO much about my instruction and about my students.  I watched the video back multiple times and found something new each time.  I realized that I was talking way more than my students were!  Even though I know that student-led discussion and negotiation of lesson content is the most meaningful way for students to learn, I was inadvertently dominating the class conversation because I was so focused on giving them as much information as I could in the short time we have together!  I've taped a few more lessons and have improved, but it's definitely challenged my thinking and my practice to be more aware of what I do and how I do it.  I also made some significant student observations that I think will really impact my future instruction with those students.  I shared the last video I made with the students' classroom teachers, and we taped a reflective session of all of us discussing our observations.  WOAH!  That was perhaps the best discovery of all...it was deep, meaningful, purposeful TRUE COLLABORATION!  I can't wait to keep pursuing these methods to improve my instruction and be an effective teacher leader too!

I'm wrapping it up after sharing my milestones, celebrations, and reflections, but before you go...don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter below!  You don't want to miss out on these awesome prizes!!!  Good luck...buena suerte! 



a Rafflecopter giveaway




4 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for joining in this giveaway! I hope you spend lots of time creating while you are recuperating! You are so incredibly talented! I can't wait to follow you and see where your talents take you! :)

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    1. Marissa, Thank you SO much for this wonderful opportunity! I can't wait to do another! Thanks for letting us celebrate with you!

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  2. What a great idea to videotape yourself! I would be nervous to do that, but I know I would find lots of things that I could do better too. I may have to try it soon. Congrats on being the type of teacher that motivates your students to want to learn!
    Crystal
    www.funandlearningatbba.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Crystal! I would HIGHLY recommend the process! It was so enlightening. Thanks for the compliment...I never want to be satisfied with the status quo...I want to learn and grow each and every day!

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