Whew! This is a marathon week: 2 nights of parent-teacher conferences – enough the drain even the most energetic teacher. I love the opportunity to chat with parents about their child though – it’s invaluable time.
We have started up with reader’s conferences again this week, and I must say – it feels good to chat with kids about their reading again. Even though I’m sometimes intimidated by conferencing, I am loving having renewed this practice. Attending WSRA gave me lots of ideas on things to talk with kids about. We’re starting out with just touching base in regards to current reading, what’s on their reading radar, and changes they’ve seen in themselves since September in regards to reading.
Oh. My. Goodness. Talking to these kids about the changes they’re seeing in themselves has been the most refreshing, renewing, rejuvenating thing for me. Hearing my kids say things like:
- “I read 10 times more at home!”
- “20 minutes of reading at home isn’t enough – it HAS to be more!”
- “I’m actually finding books I like because you help me.”
- “I feel like I’m more confident in my reading.”
- “I read so much more than I ever have before.”
Seriously. How do these things not just melt your heart? This is all I ever want for my students: for them to find their reading fire and burn it brightly. I’m seeing that happen – in the conversations with me, their peers, other teachers – kids are talking about their reading, passing books to each other, thinking about their next books. Heaven, I tell you. Heaven.
We’re in the midst of our mini-research unit. Students selected their topics and wrote their essential questions yesterday and today, and have started scouring for sources and information. They’ll be doing something different this year – writing an abstract at the end of this week explaining their questions and what sources they are using for their final product.
What is their final product? A newspaper/magazine spread. Our job is to narrow down and decide how we’re going to have students actually create this. Once we figure it out, we’ll share with you.