Category Archives: Uncategorized

Big Stuff

Hi all! I’ve got some big (hopefully good!) stuff in my not teaching life and this weeks post fell through the cracks! But I will be back next week with my head in the gam.! Happy weekend!!

20130301-223752.jpg
(I’ll tell you this though…we had a very exciting visit from Flat Stanley this week!)

This Moment: Vacationing!

From Soulemama

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

20130222-110519.jpg

This Moment: Valentine’s Day

From Soulemama

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

20130215-071742.jpg

This Moment

From Soulemama

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

20130125-220215.jpg

Hello Again and Daily 5

Hello again!

I have broken the cardinal rule of blogging and disappeared for a while but I am back and regular posting will resume today. I’ve been thinking a lot about the fact that teachers (at least elementary school teachers) talk a whole bunch about how important routines are for our students and how much they thrive on predictability. Mainly I have been thinking about how much I rely on routines and procedures myself. That is exactly what happened with this little blog of mine. I got pulled into the vortex of vacation and am just now finding my way back into the normal rhythm of my weeks.

I am also taking on some new and exciting changes. In particular, I am taking a new class which I am very excited about. This is a class that is being offered at my own alma mater entitled Young Adult Literature. I hope to enjoy reading and talking about some new and interesting books in this class (and I’m sure any of you who see me in real life will hear about them too!).

So with all this thinking about routines and procedures and reading, I decided I would share a few videos about the Daily 5- which is my favorite routine going on in my classroom this year. Daily 5 is a program focused on the idea that every day students should be engaged in genuine reading and writing experiences every day. And that through these activities they gain valuable time to practice what we are teaching them. If you haven’t heard of Daily 5 before I recommend you check out Gail Boushey and Joan Moser’s books. You can find them and many(!!) other resources on their website here.

In my room it is actually the Daily 4. We do Read to Self, Read to Someone, Work on Writing and Word Work. And man, oh, man do my kids LOVE it. They always get up in arms on the rare days when we have to skip it. I don’t follow the book exactly but I have found my own spin on it and I am just in love with the results too. My kids have become prolific writers and really do consider it “sacred reading and writing time” (which is what I always refer to it as). We have quite a book culture going in my room. Just about daily, I find myself saying “I know it is hard but we have to put down the books and get ready for gym/art/music/lunch now”. I seriously could not be more happy about anything right now. I got good responses from parents at conference time too. Many told me how their children were getting more excited about reading at home. As I like to tell the kids, that just makes my teacher heart swell with pride!

So if you are at all interested I can not recommend this program enough! Without further delay here are some videos to get you as excited as I am:

(As always, these are not my videos and I take no credit for them)

20130119-180246.jpg

Welcome!

Welcome to The Featured Teacher. My name is Annie and I am a third grade teacher in Worcester, Ma. I was inspired to start this blog because I want to provide my students with the best education and school experience possible. I have had amazing mentors and coworkers who have helped me in my early years of teaching but I am still constantly coming across ideas and practices that I simply wish I had known about sooner. I was once given the advice that good teachers borrow and great teachers steal. This blog is a place for both. It is important that we share ideas because it not only makes us better teachers but also builds a community that makes us feel better about our teaching.

I know I work with a truly brilliant group of people and I know that there are teachers all over the world doing great things everyday that help children grow. I also know that teachers have a strangely solitary job at times. We share the building and we share the kids but there simply isn’t time to share our practices with each other enough. If only there was a way to be in two places at once. My hope is that this space will provide a bit of insight into what is working for teachers and that through sharing these ideas we can strengthen ourselves and our students.

I am also becoming very aware of the fact that teachers are not singled out enough for the spectacular things they are doing. It is easy to get bogged down in the everyday, run of the mill, grind of work. That happens in every profession. I think it is so frequently easier to talk about what is not working and what needs to be fixed, and to forget about all the small successes that are happening around us each and every day. I also hope that this can be a space in which we slow down and take a moment to celebrate and share things that just work for us.

This blog is about bringing a spotlight onto that one thing in someone’s classroom that is working really well. It can be anything. From how papers get passed out to a great lesson or unit. From classroom jobs to curriculum mapping. Anything  that makes teachers proud and that contributes to the success of their classrooms.

I’m so glad you have landed here!

-Annie