Sunday, July 19, 2009

Windows Movie Maker

On Saturday my brother in law is getting married. Weddings in my family are usually accompanied by a slideshow of pictures showcasing the bride and groom's childhood, teenage years, and their relationship. When I got married, my mother-in-law continued the tradition and made a DVD slideshow of my husband and me. I love this idea because it really celebrates the couple and shows how two families will be joined on the wedding day.
Well, my MIL asked me to put together the slideshow for the bride and groom. I successfully scanned images and used Windows Movie Maker to create a movie. It was so easy! I think putting pictures to music is one of the most effective ways to relive moments in time, and I am so excited to share my work of art at the rehersal dinner.
In fact, in creating this movie, I decided I will make a movie for each year of my marriage highlighting the events we attend, our friends, and us! Can you imagine having each year of your life showcased as a movie? In 30 years we will certainly have a ton of footage!

A Challenge

As I mentioned in my last post, I spent a week learning about the Responsive Classroom Approach.
One part of RC is allowing students to share community news with eachother. In order to make this successful in the classroom the teacher must scaffold the sharing. First, the teacher may provide a sentence starter (My favorite sport...) and all students are given an opportunity to share during sharing. But, the goal of the sharing session is to have students share an appropriate piece of news from their own lives. After they have shared it is up to the other students in the room to ask 3 questions or make 3 comments about the news they heard...and this is the hard part. The questions or comments must be focused on the sharer, not on the person who asked the question or made the comment. We watched a video showing how students were successful with this concept, and it was amazing to see students can do it! Over the past few days I have watched conversations between adults. The first speaker will share something, and the second speaker usually replies by taking about him/herself, not about the person. What do you do? Do you take an active interest in your conversations or are you turning the conversation to be about you? I am going to try to keep the focus on the other person for the next couple days, and see how the conversations unfold. I challenge you to do the same - I bet we learn more about our friends and family by keeping the focus on them instead of turning it to be about ourselves.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Responsive Classroom

I have spent this week learning about Responsive Classroom. I love the idea of starting the day out in a morning meeting where students greet one another, share, participate in an activity, and read a message together. This gets the class off to a positive start for the day. My district bought us 10 books to help us implement RC in our own classrooms this year, AND they even had them for us to take home to read BEFORE school starts!!! I am so excited to work my way through these books, take good notes, and start integrating RC in my own room.
I think my favorite part of the training is spending time with the faculty at my school. We are all learning together (principal included) I've learned more about my colleagues in the past four days than I learned all year long...while I certainly don't want more faculty meetings, I do think it is essential to take at least a day to put school stuff aside and build community with the staff.

Happy Reading to ME! Here's a list of the books we received:

How to Talk so Kids Can Learn by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
Yardsticks by Chip Wood
Morning Meeting Messages 180 Charts Fisher, Henry Porter
Rules in School Brady Forton Porter Wood
The Morning Meeting Book Kriete
The First Six Weeks of School Denton Kriete
Learning Through Academic Choice Denton
Parents and Teachers Working Together Davis Yang
Classroom Spaces that Work Clayton Forton
99 Activities and Greeting Correa-Connolly

www.responsiveclassroom.org