1. Assessments -- I have a new, and so far successful, Writing Workshop notebook copied from our Literacy Guru (hooray). I am also beginning to implement check-lists for math and social studies (double hooray). I was given some good tips today from one of my graduate classes on how to collect anecdotal information from kids in science and social studies when I almost always teach these in whole group settings. The tip is this: during transitions, ask a kid a question and mark it on your check-list. Or, if I want to know if everyone knows that George Washington was our first president I will ask them to whisper it to me as they line up for lunch then check-it off on my list. Brilliant! How did I not think of that?
2. My husband's messages to my special friend have exploded into many of my kiddos writing to him. I have relieved some of the workload and responded back to the kids in his name (is that wrong?) I print the letters out (big comic sans font, always with a question to answer) and staple it to their original letter. Now we are brainstorming about other people we can write to! My kids are beginning to moan when we don't have Writing Workshop (instead of the reverse) and for that, I am elated.
3. Friend from China -- he is getting there... very slowly, but I am certain very surely.
4. I am in the process of formally assessing a group of kids who qualify for intervention... so far almost all of them have made huge improvements from the beginning of the year. That feels good. Their improvements however, put them where many of their classmates were in August. So that feels daunting. Can I catch them up?
5. Tomorrow is primary election day and I must think about getting to bed so I may fulfill my civic duty in the morning. My kids will likely ask me, many times, "what is that sticker on your shirt for?" I wonder how many different ways I will explain it...