Dare to Care

create, communicate, collaborate, and think critically

04/Apr/2017
by Denise Krebs
8 Comments

Tipi and Slice of Life Tuesday – No Grades

Today, to be honest, I should not be blogging. I should be finishing my grades for quarter 3, which are due any day now. (Like tomorrow, but I am having a hard time admitting that!)

After a month of blogging daily in March, I am relieved and excited to join the only-once-a-week Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge. I’m looking forward to spending a bit of time on Tuesdays with my new Slice of Life writing tribe, for I know they will help me kickstart my neglected blogging habit. Thank God no one grades me on my blog posts. Instead, encouragement from this group helps me practice and learn, so I can grow as a writer.

On a loosely related topic, at school today my small group built.

This quarter, each teacher was assigned eight students for group work, and with them we were to choose and study a tribe of people from anywhere in the world. We chose the Nez Perce in North America because our supervisor is from the Nez Perce tribe. She has lots of amazing relics, so we were able to learn from her and see first hand some of the valuable art and artifacts from this group of Native American people.

Today my group built a tipi.

It was great, and it was better than thinking about blogging.

It was most certainly better than thinking about and / or recording and finishing grades.

It was exciting.

It was real.

It was math.

It was problem solving.

It was critical thinking.

It was dangerous.

It was kinesthetic.

It was making.

It wasn’t a number on a report card, and it never will be.

It’s like life. We do things, like blogging and baking, but we don’t get graded on them. My students would be shocked and appalled if I tried to assign them a grade for their work on the tipi. It just would be a distraction and a disappointment, no matter what grades were “given” or “earned.”

It’s not that we didn’t do our best. As in life, there are always consequences for what we do. Did we do a good job? Did we figure out what we have to do to make it easier and better next time?

If we didn’t, our next attempt may result in the same mistakes. If we did really learn something from today’s activity, then we’ll be even more successful when we build it again for our presentation.

Can’t we do more authentic activities?

Can’t we do real-life work that doesn’t require grades?

 

Filling the frame with a tipi today. #cy365 #t365project

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More tipi building.

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01/Apr/2017
by Denise Krebs
6 Comments

We’re Dancing

I took Mary Ann Reilly’s advice to get dancing today. I did so with an unlikely song, and a song that I never even knew existed. (It has almost a billion views!)

When I read Mary Ann’s blog post a couple days ago, I was reminded of my sweet kindergarten students. I had spent 1.5 years with them, singing and dancing daily. Lately, though, I have not been dancing. Maybe it’s because I haven’t figured out how to dance with grade 5 students.

Yesterday, when my kindergarten teacher colleague posted this song on her Facebook feed, telling how her students had gone crazy with it, I couldn’t help but try it out. I didn’t just listen to it, though. I did what Mary Ann suggested at the end of her post:

So are you ready to dance a little?  Dance like you were 5?  I won’t tell:)

Give it a try! It does have a great beat. I wonder if my fifth graders will like it!

31/Mar/2017
by Denise Krebs
10 Comments

Currently – A Slice of Life List

Looking Around My Home

  1. Piles of work, unfinished and begging for attention.
  2. White walls
  3. A painting my daughter made in high school. I love it. (It’s also the header on this blog.)

My daughter’s painting on one of my white walls.

Looking Out My Window

  1. The 24-Hours Market
  2. Dust
  3. Minarets

Found: a few balloons on a rainy day. #cy365 #t365project

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Looking Around My Classroom

  1. Furniture that at the beginning of the year brought great hope for a classroom full of alternative seating, but now I’m ready for it to go away
  2. I wonder if it is a place for learners to learn English?
  3. I can no longer find a pencil.

As I Ponder…

  1. I’m saddened about the fighting in U.S. politics
  2. I find it hard to keep my eyes off news shows
  3. I still have hope.

What I’m Learning

  1. How to personalize learning for my students

What I’m Creating

  1. A Breakout EDU game
  2. Lots of writing on my blog
  3. Keeping my class blog organized

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I’m Reading

  1. Bible stories
  2. Queen Bee
  3. The Story of Waheed

What I’m Watching

  1. News
  2. Politics
  3. Children playing

What I’m Hearing

    1. “The Gummy Bear Song”

What’s on My Camera

  1. Lots of pictures of Grade 5 events and learning
  2. Photos for my Capture Your 365 challenge

What I’m Drinking

  1. Mango tea
  2. Skim milk
  3. Water

What’s Happening in the Kitchen?

  1. Roasted chicken
  2. Bran muffins
  3. Roasted cauliflower

A Quote I Want to Share

My 6-word memoir to share with you today.

30/Mar/2017
by Denise Krebs
7 Comments

Grateful Slicer, Day 30

I am a grateful slicer, a new slicer in 2017.

Thanks to all those who have read my posts this month and left kind, helpful and quality comments.

A special thanks to my regular visitors, Aileen Hower and Erika Victor. You have each been a cheerleader to keep me writing on this journey! It seems I could always look forward to your helpful and encouraging responses. When I didn’t feel like writing, or thought I had nothing to say, I somehow knew you would notice. Thank you!

Although, I didn’t make the full challenge, I did manage to post each day. I forgot to add my link to the SOL website a couple times, and I had a week of little to no commenting! All in all, it’s been a great adventure, and I look forward to keeping up my writing with the weekly Slice of Life Tuesday challenge.

30/Mar/2017
by Denise Krebs
7 Comments

Individualized Spelling, Slice of Life #29

So, I got up early this morning. It’s 10:30 p.m. on the East coast in the U.S. I have almost made it through the month of March and my first Slice of Life, 2017. I don’t want to quit, so I’m writing this quick post. Quick because I also promised myself and my students that this day I would give them the list of spelling words that we made together. Individual students and I chose words based on ones they misspell in their work and vocabulary they chose for themselves from their last story.

Here is a partial list that I am now going to type up with names and print off for my students to add to their notebooks:

8 students

I know this is impractical. There has to be a better way because I won’t do it like this weekly or even biweekly. As is usually my style, I tend to experiment and then tweak it to improve.

I even realized if I would have written more neatly with space between, I could have just sliced this paper and given each a handwritten list after taking a photo for my records.

I just took a break and started looking online for resources:

In a blog post by teacher Angela Bunyi on Scholastic.com, the book Words Their Way came up.

I have some studying to do to find a way to make this work.

Any suggestions for individualizing spelling?

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