A blog to share information on literacy strategies across contents and grade levels. Metacognitive strategies included. "Metacognition is, put simply, thinking about one's thinking. More precisely, it refers to the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess one's understanding and performance. Metacognition includes a critical awareness of a) one's thinking and learning and b) oneself as a thinker and learner." -- Vanderbilt University
Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
“You’re so lucky to have your summers off.”
That comment is almost as irritating to teachers as a gift of
apple earrings. Most teachers I know are plenty busy in the summer
working as tutors, leading training sessions, or going to conferences
(usually on their own dime) to hone their craft and keep up their
And yet . . .we’re still profoundly grateful for summer. Though
we aren’t fully off work, we have control over our time, which is no
small thing. We usually have at least a few days that stretch long with
light, with little scheduled. To feel that echo of childhood memories,
where a summer day with nothing to do but play could linger like a year,
feels like more and more of a gift the older you get.
A lazy summer day is a reminder why we’re human beings, and not
human doings. There is such pressure to accomplish more in classrooms.
The clock feels like a runaway train, with the rhythm of the wheels on
the tracks clacking “what’s next what’s next what’s next” pulling us
away from being truly present with students.
Here’s something I’ve been trying on busy days to slow down the
“doing” and get back to being right here, right now in the moment. I
read recently that the average American looks at a screen 200 times a
day. Seems unbelievable, until I think of how many times I pick up my
smartphone, or pull out my laptop to read, write, or respond to emails.
Every time I look at a new screen during the day, I try to pause for a
moment and take a deep belly breath. Better yet, I close my eyes for a
few moments while I take the breath. It’s surprising how restorative
this is – we don’t call it “catching our breath” for nothing. There’s a
lot of research on the vicious cycle of shallow breathing during times
of stress leading to more stress and cortisol production. An extra 100
deep breaths a day, or even just a dozen, can do wonders for restoring
at least a whisper of the calm you feel on a hazy July afternoon.
This week we look at classroom library design. Plus more as always -- enjoy!
Founder, Choice Literacy
Free for All
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Our online courses in July include Jennifer Schwanke's The Principal's Role in Evaluating and Supporting Literacy Instruction (July 23-27) and Supporting Teachers in Writing Workshops (July 29 - August 9) from Ruth Ayres. To view descriptions or register click on the link below: