Thursday, January 2, 2014

Back in the swing of things

I think every teacher gets those back to school jitters after a fun filled Christmas break. That is exactly how I felt last night while enjoying our family's New Years Day dinner. It was a combination of anxiety and excitement- ok maybe more anxiety than excitement. 

On January 6 and lasting until Jan 22 I am going to be teaching a sequence of lessons modeled after the strategies from Falling in Love with Close Reading in a 4th grade classroom. Teachers are going to be invited in to watch these lessons and then debrief about them at PLCs. Talk about taking a risk and putting myself out there! I'll just preface each lesson with " I am not perfect at this- we are all learning together!" 

Today, I went to visit the classroom I am going to be teaching in. After watching Colby Sharpe speak at NCTE and share his video of running around the room professing his love for reading, I thought I need to do that! And I did! The kids responses was overwhelmingly positive. The excitement in the room was palpable! A student shared that he couldn't wait to have lessons to look forward too! Another student said, " yes! You are coming back! I love learning with you!" 

And then I shared we would be reading music lyrics- Katy Perry's song Roar - and you would think they won the lottery! ( I kind of wished I had filmed today!) They want to "read" songs by One Direction, Michael Jackson, Imagine Dragons- even Journey! (Although they weren't sure I had ever heard of Journey!)

Well, that anxiety I had about embarking on this teaching journey went out the window! It's about the kids! It's about getting them to love reading and enjoy reading. I told them by the time I leave my hope for them is for them to become a reading dork like me and they all cheered! It was so cool! 

Immediately after I left the classroom my friend Elaine and I went back to my room and grabbed as many books as we could from my bookshelves. The kids need independent reading books to practice strategies and read, read, read! I cannot wait to see their faces when we bring in the stacks of books and have them choose! I have to thank the nerdybookclub, title talk and all the people I have met on twitter and at conferences for the book recommendations! 

Monday cannot come fast enough! Of course I'll be reading and planning and replanning my lessons over the weekend. But those fantastic students will be my motivation to make this the best reading experience for them! And if the lessons aren't perfect- so what! We are all learning together. 


  1. How exciting, Kara! I look forward to hearing about how the song, Roar, works. Thank you for sharing:-) I can't wait to hear more!

  2. Kara,
    Your post is so full of energy! I cant wait to hear how it goes! Keep us posted! Sounds awesome!