Stories are gifts

17 stickers later (including 3 holiday specialty drink stickers), I finally have my own Starbucks 2011 Planner, which doesn’t seem as free considering all the drinks I had to consume and pay for! I don’t even drink coffee, but that’s another story. Thank goodness for the Starbucks gift card I received from one my parents which helped pay for more than half of these drinks!

What I like in particular about the planner besides all the Starbucks propaganda inside is the logo on the box “Stories are gifts.” As a teacher of reading and writing, I can’t help but smile and agree that each of our stories that we have are gifts from God. It’s amazing how everyone has their “own” story. No two stories are completely alike, and God is the best and most creative storyteller!

Well I am minutes away from heading out the door to catch the bus to the airport for Cambodia. I’m excited for the stories I’ll hear of the people I’ll meet there. I’m even more excited to share with everyone of the stories that happen while I’m there! Thank goodness for blogs, e-mails, and technology! It makes our storytelling a lot quicker and efficient. Please keep me in your prayers! ๐Ÿ™‚

Effective Goal Setting for the Workshop Model

This school year, I’ve been putting more emphasis on the goals that they decide on as readers and writers. In the past I had students come up with goals in the beginning of the year, but we didn’t really come back to them until the end of the quarter or the end of the year.

It has been working really well to set quarterly goals in addition to more general year long goals. By having students set small attainable goals every quarter they can assess whether they have achieved them or not. I have their goals written down on their conferencing sheet for reading and writing. (I use a binder system for keeping track of my conference notes. I have a separate binder for reading workshop and writing workshop.) Each student has a section in the binder and their cover sheet include their goals for each quarter. Therefore, when I conference with each student I remind them of their goals and check in with them about whether they are working on achieving their goals. I have found that reminding students of their goals and having them remember what they areย  pushes the students to become stronger readers and writers.

I also decided that I would have students come up with reading goals for their three week long Christmas vacation. I know that as a reader I have my own reading goals for this vacation! I’m glad that I’ll have some free time finally to catch up on a lot of reading! I’m hoping to read Catching Fire and MockingJay, the next two books in the Hunger Game series.ย  Also, I’m hoping to catch up on some professional reading including: Hidden Gems by Katherine Bomer. Also, I need to finish The Book Thief!!! Happy Reading! (That’s how one of my students ends her reading response letters.) ๐Ÿ™‚