Today begins the Slice of Life Challenge! I have finally been in the mood for setting realistic goals that will help me get back into writing and Slice of Life is one of these goals. I've been surprised by how much stress can influence how I feel about myself as a writer and a reader. I decided in January that I needed an attitude change. I have gradually started to take care of myself again by rereading books that remind me why I decided to be an educator (like Educating for Human Greatness). I've started to write articles and most recently spent the day at the Dublin Literacy Conference. I even have a date set to meet a writing partner! These little steps are re-energizing me and reminding me how much I love to read, write and learn.
To help me embrace my own teaching this month, I quite simply introduced my students to blogging. I had reservations all year about jumping in with my group, but I shouldn't have. The outlet of blogging has helped the writers who already love to write, write more! It has also allowed me to see kids (who I was worried about) build stamina and explode with ideas as well as comments on the blog. Blogging has created more happiness in the classroom and I think each day kids need something to think about, read about or write about that makes them happy. So I've been asking them throughout the day, what book put a smile on your face today? What are you writing about that makes you happy? I think tomorrow I am going to ask what would they be happy learning about (since I had a student ask me on our way in from recess, "When are we going to perform another experiment?")? Their answers will help me with integrating science, find non-fiction titles and prepare baskets of books as we study non-fiction writing.
I realized I need to get back to bringing a slice of happiness back to the classroom each day. This month I look forward to sharing some of the slices of happiness that occur in my life and classroom. Here's to catching happy moments!