As I told my boys while we were splashing in the pool earlier today, "Labor Day is the last little hint of summer left." It's also the day that reminds us that school is officially back in session. Our grandparents started school after Labor Day. Funny to think, we are headed into our fourth week.
As for the weekend, my family and I spent Saturday in Jordan Hare Stadium watching Auburn play their first game of the season. Earlier that morning, I watched a clip on ESPN about Nick Saban, or Nick Satan as my husband calls him, ha! While I detest Alabama in true rivalry fashion, there was a quote I heard by him that I loved. It was after his first loss to Louisiana Monroe in the opening game of his career. He told his players, "You guys are putting winning over doing things right, and that's just wrong." I loved this so much. I am tempted to make a poster of it for my classroom. If any of you are reading this, I would sure like a hand-crafted one, but please no white or crimson. This is my desire for each of you this year: to do things the right way every single day. Heads up, focused, and doing over and better each day. It is my goal for myself as well.
This week, we will begin benchmark testing with Unify, the testing instrument replacing DEA. It is new for all of us, so I am sure the process will be "labor" intensive, but hopefully, a positive experience as well. I am interested to see what the scores might reveal, although as I mentioned in class this week, testing is way too narrow of a goal for us this year. I want each of you to excel on the state test, but if that's all you get from this class, I know I will have failed you miserably. As mentioned earlier, I want you to see learning and excellence as the highest goals.
This past week we had our first writer's workshop and we read two short stories, "Eleven," and "Drenched in Light." Friday, you guys did a fantastic job with the conversation cards. I was impressed with the connections you all made to the text, things I hadn't even considered. I also like the way you guys are beginning to tackle text and dig for the deeper meaning. This is a skill that takes some time to cultivate, but the building blocks are definitely there. We also talked about collaboration with emphasis on what it looks like and sounds like. Each period added to the previous period. You guys helped me make an anchor chart to help us remember what it looks like to work together for a common goal.
Without question, we are now definitely rolling up our sleeves and beginning the "laboring" towards the goal of being better readers, writers, and people. Thanks to each of you for challenging me to be the best teacher I can be.