Monday, May 5, 2014

Teacher Appreciation SALE!

Hey Kinder Friends,
It's hard to believe that it is Teacher Appreciation Week because that sure does signal the end of the year. And I waited to share this story because it is one of my favorite teacher-student stories to tell. This is Christian and me at field day last year. Christian was such a blessing to me last year in class. I loved working with Christian and I learned a lot about assessment and goal setting through our one on one mini conferences during writing each day. I have carried so many of those conversations with me this year. Christian told me at times he struggled with what I asked him to do in class. He told me things at times were...hard. I never had a doubt that what I was asking him to do he could eventually accomplish. But I learned that sometimes it takes a few tries. He reminded me to slow down and learn to love the process. I may have forgotten to do that a time or two. What I really admired about Christian was that no matter what he was goal focused. He worked on a goal until mastery without giving up. He often asked for clarification and constructive feedback. He kept me on my toes and always thinking. He taught me how to set realistic and relevant goals. we celebrated mini milestones and mastery of skills...together. And we both learned that evaluating our progress towards mastery of a skill or standard was so motivating. Eventually we were able to apply this process to other areas of the curriculum.
Looking back, I can clearly see that I learned a more effective way to approach assessment through my mini conferences with Christian. I was excited to apply what I had learned through Christian this school year with my new class. I learned that effective assessment includes focused learning objectives, relevant and realistic goals, celebrating milestones to mastery, providing ongoing feedback, evaluation, adjustment, progress monitoring. But what I wish I had done better last year was involving the parent. I have learned that this can be the most critical piece. This year alone has proven to me that even a parent you see just once can have a huge impact in the process of effective instruction and including effective assessment.
I will always feel that Christian taught me more than I taught him in Kindergarten because it helped me to help other children and will continue to do so in the future. At the end of the year I did shed a few tears knowing I would miss Christian and our class. I had no idea that our paths would cross in such a way a year later. Christian and his family gave me my teacher appreciation gift a little early this year. In fact, it was right at Christmas when my dog passed away. During Writer's Workshop I wrote a lot about my dog during class. One day in the parking lot Christian's mom brought to me this...
This is one of the most precious gifts I have ever received in my life...period. But the words she said to me as she gave him to me were...priceless. I could only hug her because I was speechless. For months I have carried this dog everywhere. I swear I am like a five year old with a new puppy. This puppy is my greatest companion and he is always ready for camping, boating or walking. And he is the most loving and sweet dog I have ever been around. And the best part is that he replaced an empty spot in my heart at a difficult time and I can always remember he came from Christian and his family.
So, in the spirit of learning and loving what we do I am teaming up with my friends and having a Teacher Appreciation Sale. Use the code above to save even more! Just click on the button to get to shopping!
If you need a little graduation help just click on the image above!

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