Celebrating the First Two Weeks of School: Wild Reading and Writing Genius

Time to celebrate the week with Ruth Ayres! Link up and celebrate your week here.

The second week of school is done and i have to admit my mind is a little scrambled by the process of sorting out my two classrooms. Getting to know them is a crazy process. Honoring each person for who they are, and then understanding how they all fit together with you is a challenge, but at the same time quite wonderful. So first I must celebrate that process. With all of it’s messiness, the stories I’m learning and the stories we are creating.

We started Genius Hour work on Thursday. First we defined genius as the act of solving a problem in a way that no one has done before. That a genius looks at something that others are stuck on, and gets the world unstuck. How we all have an obligation to share our gifts and genius with the world. To “mine” our genius we listed what we love, something we could do forever never get bored. Then we listed what bothered us, things that we saw around us that just weren’t right in the world.

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Such an interesting way to find out what matters and what troubles them. It’s also a fantastic way to activate the idea that they can and they need to take charge of their lives; that they can do something and create their lives.  Today I celebrate my 59 geniuses and Joy Kirr’s amazing resources that helped me introduce this thinking. Find the link here.

This week we started setting up reading partnerships. When I say we, I really should say “they.” I started conversations with individuals asking about their reading lives that included their partnership history. Most have a keen knowledge of who was a good partner for them, so I let them lead me to the beginnings of this work in our classroom. It takes time. More time than some were willing to tolerate. Wednesday morning, in between reading conferences, I looked around the classroom and noticed students (who haven’t been officially partnered up) sitting beside each other with same books.  Tired of waiting for their turn with me they just did it.  I celebrate these wild readers taking charge of their reading lives.

I want to celebrate 15 minutes of just writing. Every day, at the beginning of our day,  we just write. There are no rules except to write. It’s now a practice.  After writing we share our strategies and our growth we found while writing. Here are a few ways we find our writing:

Reflect on yesterday

Notice what is around us

Find ideas in our writing to write more about

Wonder why

Be inspired by other’s writing

Draw, doodle

Finally, I celebrate Saturday mornings that allow the time to collect the pieces of the week that are truly wonderful.

 

7 thoughts on “Celebrating the First Two Weeks of School: Wild Reading and Writing Genius

  1. Wow, you have a lot of students to care for, Julieanne. It seems you have great things begun, and you’re on your way. Like Elsie, I love that 15 minutes, too! Have a good restful weekend, and a terrific week next week!

  2. Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your day Julieanne. I love your Genius Hour – what a wonderful way of getting to know your students and what is important to them. It is lovely to see them taking ownership for their own learning. That 15 minutes to write every morning is precious. I used to have my children write to me and tell me anything they wanted in those first minutes. Every afternoon i would read and respond, ready for them to read the next morning. It was a wonderful way of finding out what mattered to them, and an opportunity to have one-on-one communication where they could tell me things that might be overlooked in a busy day. And Saturday mornings to refresh and regroup! That’s definitely an essential part of the week. 🙂

  3. Your year has started with a lovely tone – building strong relationships, wondering, establishing routines. I hope that you use the 15 minutes of daily writing alongside with your students.

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