grad school, teaching

New School Year

Hello to the 2020-2021 school year! Life has been crazy so far, but I have successfully made it through the first 4 days with students.

Obviously, we don’t know what the future holds, and sadly in a district that is always short on subs, the likelihood of another COVID “shut down” (aka force to go all virtual) is very high.

I’ve been spending the first few days conquering technology and teaching my kids how to use Canvas. Which, I love Canvas. I use it at UVA; however, Canvas recently started allowing more Google integration. It’s way more steps to do integrate things like Google docs instead of a word doc. My district (like many) buy/lease chromebooks for the students meaning they do not even have access to word on their computers so Google is a must. Add in two of my students not have accounts because their registration had not been fully completed yet (aka put into the computer system).

I will say I am immensely proud of how sweet, kind, and forgiving my kiddos are this year. Even though they have limited social interactions and have been forced to deal with more technological issues than anyone could normally deal with, they have done it. They always make sure everyone is included and strive to make the best of every situation. We did a discussion in Canvas to learn how to do it, and they made sure everyone had a comment on their original post even though they only had to do two replies.

I have also started back at UVA, only taking 4 credits instead of 6. One of my classes is on diagnosis and remediation for Reading Intervention which is super fun and interesting. I have to do 3 practicum assignments in it though, so I’m still trying to figure that out. Luckily, there is a conversation about it on Tuesday night that I plan on attending (via Zoom) to figure out what exactly is the expectation. The other class is Dyslexia in the Classroom, which focuses on understanding more about Dyslexia and how to provide interventions. At no point is it my job to ever officially diagnosis someone with a learning disability; however, it would be my job to provide intervention for the diagnosis from a psychologist or other medical professional.

In my spare time (which granted hasn’t been much) I’ve been reading a ton and cannot wait to share the next book chat with y’all soon! Let me know what other posts or videos you want to see. I’m able to post more on Youtube right now since I have better internet.

xx,

Lindsey

Instagram Twitter | Pinterest Youtube | Bloglovin’

Book, grad school, teaching

Book Chat: Children’s Books

Hi y’all,

You all seem to love my monthly book chats so I wanted to share with you some children’s books, too. As a Reading teacher, I absolutely love sharing new books with my class and I’m so glad y’all love to read as much as I do.

These books were all assigned or I picked them for my Children’s Literature course I’m taking for grad school at UVA. I have finished all but 3 for the class, but I still wanted to go ahead and share them so if you wanted to request them for your classroom you had time to.

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearnace of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming. |This book is one that I haven’t read yet, but the synopsis on the back of the book says “What happened to Amelia Earhart? On May 21, 1937, the most famous female pilot of all time, Amelia Earhart, set out to do the impossible: circumnavigate the globe at its widest point, flying 27,000 miles in all. Just six weeks later, her plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. More than eighty years have passed since that fateful flight, and the plane has never been found. Discover the thrilling life and tragic end of America’s most famous trailblazing flier with this impeccably researched and masterfully crafted book from acclaimed author Candace Fleming.

Lemons by Melissa Savage. |5/5 stars |This is one book that I chose to read for a book trailer assignment. This is the story of Lemonade, or Lem as she’s better known. Lem is sent to live with her only living relative when her mom passes away. What did Lem want? To stay in the city and to definitely not live with her grandfather and his Big Foot obsession. She did not want to join the BigFoot Detectives Inc. and she definitely didn’t want to become friends with anyone.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo | This is another book I haven’t read yet. I picked this one because it’s written by the fabulous Kate DiCamillo and I’ve loved all the books I’ve read of hers. The synonpsis for the book reads, “once there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit couldn’t move or speak, but he could watch and list, and he was very pleased with himself and his owner and his house. And then, one day, he was lost”.

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney | 2/5 stars | Honestly, my rating of this book is low because it’s written in poem form and I dislike books written in this style. It’s harder for me to follow along and I feel like I miss a lot of description. I do think the story is important to share (I would have just picked a different format). This is the story of Amira, a young lady living in Sudan. She wants to be like the girls that go to school and learn; however, it doesn’t appear to be in the cards for her. Instead, her family flees Sudan to head to a refugee camp. Danger lurks around every corner, and Amira can’t seem to find peace.

El Deafo by CeCe Bell |4.5/5 stars| Loved this book. This is an autobiographical graphic novel. The main character faces the huge struggle of being deaf in a hearing world. However, she learns to adapt and deal with all the trials and tribulations life throws at her. This book is absolutely wonderful for sharing to help students understand each others differences, no matter what they are. I love the fact this book is a graphic novel because it helps to make the text accessible to all students.

Chains by Lauren Halse Anderson | 5/5 stars | This book is absolutely wonderful. This is the historical fiction story of a slave girl named Isabel. Isabel believes she should be free; however, she is sold to a new family, a Loyalist family. She and her younger sister are shipped up to New England, months before the Declaration of Independence is to be signed. Will Isabel ever gain her freedom? There are more books in the series; however, I haven’t read them yet.

Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai | 3/5 stars (so far | Disclaimer on this one, I haven’t finished it yet, but I am having a difficult time finishing it. This is the story of Mai as she deals with spending her summer in Vietnam. This surfer girl from SoCal would rather be back in there, instead of in a foreign country where she doesn’t speak the language. Worse? She doesn’t really know when she’s going home because she’s helping her Bai (grandmother) find her long lost grandfather who was a POW during the Vietnam War. Mai is definitely a relatable character in this middle age book; however, I have found the plot hard to get into.

What books do you share with your classes?

xx,

Lindsey

Instagram Twitter | Pinterest Youtube | Bloglovin’

Book, teaching

Book Delivery

Hi y’all,

I wanted to do this as an unboxing on YouTube, but unfortunately my internet won’t allow that.

Anyway, I got my books for the semester for Children’s Literature and I wanted to share with you what I’ll be reading over the next two months.

Listen Slowly by Thanhha Lai

“A California girl born and raised, Mai can’t wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War.

Mai’s parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture. But to Mai, those are their roots, not her own. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn’t know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.”

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

“Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. . . . Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.”

El Deafo by Cece Bell

“Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid.
The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear—sometimes things she shouldn’t—but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.”

Chains (The Seeds of America Trilogy) by Laurie Anderson

“As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight…for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.”

The Red Pencil by Andrea Pinkney

“Life in Amira’s peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when Janjaweed attackers arrive, unleashing unspeakable horrors. After losing nearly everything, Amira needs to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. She begins to lose hope, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind — and all kinds of possibilities.”

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart

“On May 21, 1937, the most famous female pilot of all time, Amelia Earhart, set out to do the impossible: circumnavigate the globe at its widest point–27,000 miles in all. Just six weeks later, she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. Eighty years have passed since that fateful flight; and still, Amelia’s plane has never been found. Discover the thrilling life and tragic end of America’s most famous trailblazing flier with this impeccably researched and masterfully crafted book from acclaimed author Candace Fleming.”

I also have some picture books I will have to read, but I did not purchase them as I would not really be able to reuse them in my classroom library.

What books are you trying to find for your library?

xx,

Lindsey

Instagram Twitter | Pinterest Youtube | Bloglovin’

*all descriptions are from amazon.com for an accurate description of the books

teaching

Graduate School at UVA

Hi y’all,

It really isn’t a secret that I’m a grad student at the University of Virginia. I made this YouTube video all about the application process to the Curry School of Education and Human Development, what classes are like, what my degree is in, etc.

Please take a quick second and hit subscribe on YouTube! It’s my goal to be doing weekly vlogs and I don’t want y’all to miss anything. My internet is not the best for uploading (like it took almost 24 hours to upload this video) but I will make it happen for y’all!

You can check out my last YouTube video here.

Thanks for watching!

 

Instagram Twitter | Pinterest Youtube | Bloglovin’

lifestyle, teaching

Cleaning my Classroom

Hi y’all,

As you know, schools nationwide are closed for the rest of the year.

My school district recently got permission for us to come in and clean up our rooms for the end of the year.

I went on Friday last week to clean up my room and prepare it for the normal summer cleaning.

I went ahead and vlogged it. I definitely did a little more than usual (normally my kids clean out their own cubbies).

Enjoy!

xx,

Lindsey

Instagram Twitter | Pinterest Youtube | Bloglovin’

lifestyle, teaching

The New Normal

Hi y’all,

The Coronavirus has made the state of Virginia cancel in-person schooling for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.

I never got to say goodbye to my kiddos in person, but we are continuing with e-learning. Obviously, this is very different than a normal day for my students and me.

For the past two weeks, we have not been asked to give any mandatory work. Last week, I started doing Zoom meetings with my students to do read aloud. We’re doing them twice a week for about 30-40 minutes. I read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and then we chat. We talk about everything from the book to what is going on in their lives. If they need anything, how to find books, etc.

This week, we have a “review week” where all the materials we give are review for strands we have already taught.

The New Normal

This is my daily schedule right now:

anywhere between 7ish and  8ish-wake up, get breakfast, get somewhat ready

8:00ish- start checking emails, Seesaw messages, etc. I also gave my families a Google Voice number they can call or text me on, so I check that as well. Prepare what I need to for the day.

9:00 (on Tuesday/Thursday)- Zoom meeting with my kiddos.

10:00ish-look over strands still to be taught (these are Writing and Social Studies as we’ve finished the Reading strands). Find different ways to teach these strands.

11:00ish-check email/Seesaw again. Start finding activities for strands.

12:00ish-lunch and break

1:00ish-3:00-check emails, plan, call families, continue finding activities.

3:00-clean up for the day.

3:00-4:00-workout

4:00-8:00- read and do work for my grad classes, eat dinner, relax.

I’m trying to find activities my kids can do independently that do not require them to login at a certain time. The Zoom meetings are completely optional.

Does my day look like this all the time? Absolutely not. It is also a work in progress. As an elementary school teacher, I never foresaw myself having to e-teach. I’m very fortunate that most of my students can work independently. I’m also glad that I set up my classroom that way I did. My students actually work independently for 30 minutes of our Reading class each day. Does this mean they will handle virtual learning better? Absolutely not. It means that they have some preparation and know my expectations for the work. We also have 15 minutes (but not always) of whole group, and 15 minutes for small groups. I have been teaching Writing and Social Studies as whole group. Next year, we already know our schedule will change a little bit, as we will have dedicated writing time, and that is one of the things I am working really hard on right now. I want to have my Writing units as planned as I can before June when our school year is over. I’ll keep you updated on that one though. I’m also keeping my schedule flexible. I’m definitely keeping my “school hours” between 8 and 3, just like a normal day with students; however, what actually gets done in this timeframe changes daily.

Now that so many people are working virtually, what is your schedule like?

xx,

Lindsey

Instagram Twitter | Pinterest Youtube | Bloglovin’