Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Little Details

I'm reading "Reading With Meaning" by Debbie Miller currently and she says, "I begin by paying attention to the little things." Later on she says, "Showing children we care about them and love being their teacher is an important first message. And at the same time, I'm modeling how you go about creating lasting friendships." I think that I do a pretty good job of this but I have decided that on my nightly walks that I will begin to pay attention to the little things in my neighborhood, just some added summer practice! Here is what I saw this evening:
1. Neighbors like to plant things in groups of three. (I have a poem brewing about this one)
2. One neighbor put a bird house up near the roofline of their house. Is this to detract or attract?
3. Red-winged black birds have two different sounds they make. One is very nice and song like and the other is very high pitched and not very nice.
4. People all over my neighborhood have planted a lot of Hastas.
5. Children love when their fathers go outside and play with them. It's a different kind of look kids get when they have a father that "hangs" with them.

I hope to grow in my community building skills so that they grow, like weeds!


Jen Barney said...

ohhhh....I will have to try this!

Happy Girl said...

Isn't Debbie Miller won-der-ful??? I watched her video series with some teachers this past year -- it's excellent. (A great study group activity.)

Funny story about neighbors -- I was eating at a local restaurant with my nephew, Carter (who was a first grader this year) when a man saw Grandpa and came up to the table for a little chat. Grandpa introduced the man to Carter & told him he lived across the road from his teacher. To which Carter responded -- "Oh yeah, you're the nosey one. You really drive (teacher's name) bonkers because you're always watching."

It was a funny look on the "neighbor's face" not to mention all of the adults at the table trying to play it cool. Ha!

Enjoy all of your noticings. Jot them in your notebook! And take a few photos of the really special ones. (I'm all about taking photos this summer -- it's a mission!)


Sarah Amick said...

I have the video series sitting on my counter currently. I can't wait. She is the person I think that I aspire to be the most.
Ruth, I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the whole Reader's Workshop and the way that I am going to get my guided reading in too. I don't want to lose guided reading groups because they are so very important. Got any brilliant ideas?

Al Manning said...

It is interesting that you are writing about paying attention to little things. I have just started thinking that I need to slow down and notice the little things in life and be more observant.
I just got my books from Amazon and will be taking them with me on vacation. I am not sure how to handle Guided Reading either Sarah. I look forward to talking with you about it sometime in the future. Where did you find the Happy Reading video series? I'd love to watch them after vacation.

Kathy Douglas said...

I, too, have been watching and looking at the little things...with fresh, new eyes. There is a place in our addition where they are leveling off dirt and a pond is nearby with NO houses around. Murphy and I love to sit and just watch nature there. I have been wanting to write about it. Never thought of the picture idea. Thanks, Ruth.
Also, check out my blog. I TRIED a poem. You inspire me, girl!

Happy Girl said...

Hey Sarah --
I'm really not an expert on reading workshop -- most of my knowledge of it has come since I left the classroom. Therefore, I'm dependent on trying "bits & pieces" in other teachers' rooms (or in the creative lab site of my high school sunday school class!). Not quite the same as being in control of the process day in & day out.

Anyway, I do have some ideas of ways I've seen other teachers swing it. Cathy Laker (host of the blog Becoming) has made it work along with her guided reading groups. (She'll be at our blogger brunch.) Also, I'd love to introduce you to Cheryl Conroy -- first grade teacher extraordinaire at the Summer Institute, along with Laurie Graham, kindergarten teacher, & Barb Bean (4th grade), who has probably read 50+ books on reading workshop & is who I consider an expert in the whole thing. These ladies are the ones I watched the Debbi Miller series with. They'll be able to bounce ideas around with you. :)

talk to you on thursday, ruth