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Another End of the School Year

April 29, 2015

Originally posted on From Surviving to Thriving:

Quite possibly, May and June may be the busiest months of the year. In classrooms everywhere, teachers and students are frantically finishing projects, rushing to meet goals, and reflecting on past and future accomplishments.

While there is joy in the growth students and teachers have experienced, there is a quiet sadness and some fear of the unknown as students prepare to move to the next level and teachers gently push them on. Classroom teachers are also quietly preparing NOW for next year’s new crop of students.

At Thriving we are huge fans of lists as tools for organization. We strongly urge educators to begin the process of organization now, to end the year and prepare for next year with as little stress and as much joy as possible. Don’t forget to celebrate accomplishments, even as time is flying by.

Below is a sample”To Do” list for the end of the school year from our book,

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Surviving and Thriving During the Last Weeks of the School Year

April 27, 2015

Originally posted on From Surviving to Thriving:

Now that spring has arrived in most areas of the continental United States, students and teachers alike are noticing the signs that the end of the school year is coming. From conversations with other teachers, I know that many of you have just completed some type of standardized testing. Some teachers and students may be fatigued, but it is important to make the most of all the time we have left.

What do you do now to engage student interest and ensure that high level learning continues right through the end of school? Master teachers teach to the end, just like athletes go all out all the way through the finish line.

“The race isn’t over until you cross the finish line. You’ll be surprised at how much can change in the last twenty strides.” —Jackie Dugall

Getting Ready for the Last Weeks of School

  • If you haven’t already, take time…

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Sharing Our Love of Picture Books by Katherine Sokolowski

April 17, 2015
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Linda C.:

An excellent post on the value of picture books. Picture books are so important for all ages!

Originally posted on Nerdy Book Club:

It was this photo that started it. Nine weeks ago I looked up from a reading conference with a student and saw this, took the photo, and posted it to Facebook and Instagram.

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It really wouldn’t be an unusual sight in my classroom of fifth graders. When we have independent work time, kids read and write what they would like. At any given time you might see some students writing a blog, others working on a presentation, some reading from their independent books, some talking to each other about their reading, and many kids reading picture books. I pop around, child to child, and talk to them about their reading and writing. It is one of my favorite parts of the day.

This photo, however, inspired Jennifer Shettel to contact me. Jennifer is an Associate Professor at a university in Pennsylvania. She wanted me to share with her class of…

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We Love Ivan

April 3, 2015

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on a new teacher resource for Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate.  This is the nonfiction picture book followup to the novel, The One and Only Ivan . . .  which we absolutely loved. We are excited about the new picture book too!! I have enjoyed getting to know the real Ivan as I worked on the read-aloud guide. This is an awesome nonfiction book for the classroom. We love it too!Ivan: The Remarkable True Story Read-Aloud Guide

In leafy calm,

in gentle arms,

a gorilla’s life began.

Katherine Applegate

 

In spare, powerful words and evocative illustrations, Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate and artist G. Brian Karas present the extraordinary real story of a special gorilla.

Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a mall in Tacoma, Washington, to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta. From the Congo to America, and from a local business attraction to a national symbol of animal welfare, Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla traveled an astonishing distance in miles and Ivanin impact.

This is his true story. Photographs of Ivan are included in the back matter.

Houghton Mifflin http://hmhbooks.com/ivan/

I also discovered an awesome resource on the Ivan website. The We Love Ivan section provides a forum for classrooms to share projects they have created to celebrate Ivan and his legacy. Share your #WELOVEIVAN stories and pictures and see what other classrooms are doing.

Katherine Applegate tells the true story of Ivan in her new picture book

If you haven’t read The One and Only Ivan in your classroom, you should. Check out our Ivan  Novel Study and Unit Plan on TPT ,and NOW our newest product is available on TPT, Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla Read-Aloud Guide.

Ivan Story Cube

Follow us on TPT and Facebook.

Related Posts:

#WELOVEIVAN

April is National Poetry Month

April 1, 2015

 

Large-Blue-RGB-National-Poetry-Month-Logo

 

Poems are like messages in a bottle sent out with little hope of finding a recipient. Those of us who find and read poems become their unknown addresses.

From How to Read a Poem (and Fall in Love with Poetry)

by Edward Hirsch Poetry Foundation

As I prepared for today’s post, I again realized I am not as poetic as I would like. I am not as comfortable as I would like to be in my appreciation or teaching of poetry. I know that it is an essential part of who we are. It tells our histories, our dreams, and our secret aspirations, but most importantly it is a creative tool to communicate all of the above.

While we hope that poetry is appreciated in your classroom throughout the year, April is a reminder that our children deserve an opportunity to learn to love poetry.

Have a great day!

Linda

Resources for Teaching and Appreciating Poetry

Please share with us the ways you teach poetry in your classroom. Comments are welcome.

Updated and reblogged from our March 30, 2012 post.

Avoid Teacher Burnout: Help a Colleague

March 31, 2015

The end of the school year is approaching quickly. Whether you are on spring break or have just come back from your break, this post has awesome ideas for finishing the school year healthy and strong.Reducing Teacher Stress

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.   Carl Sandburg

 

Check out Linda Neiman’s recent blog post. . . .

Avoid Teacher Burnout: Help a Colleague.

 

We Love Ivan

March 25, 2015

Linda C.:

Awesome book and resource……

Originally posted on Thriving LjL:

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on a new teacher resource for Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate.  (Resource coming soon I hope.) This is the nonfiction picture book followup to the novel, The One and Only Ivan . . .  which we absolutely loved. We are excited about the new picture book too!!

ivan2

In spare, powerful words and evocative illustrations, Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate and artist G. Brian Karas present the extraordinary real story of a special gorilla.

Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a mall in Tacoma, Washington, to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta. From the Congo to America, and from a local business attraction to a national symbol of animal welfare, Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla traveled an astonishing distance in…

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