Archive for the ‘story’ Category

My Story: Nurturing my Love of Reading

Posted on: October 14th, 2015 by lschwartz 3 Comments

For the past few summers, I have started my holiday with a stack of books and a determination to read them all.  Like a New Year’s resolution, I relish in the feeling that I am going to accomplish something.  Two summers ago, I tweeted out my book stack with hopes of it keeping me accountable. But each summer unfolded the same.  I looked at that stack of books and gave myself reasons and deadlines to put off reading them.  In the blink of an eye, it would be the middle of August and I haden’t finished a single professional resource.

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 8.24.01 PMI realized I had lost my love of reading.  Growing up I was a ferocious reader. I read anything I could get my hands on.  I often stayed up late into the night turning pages to a story that I couldn’t put down.  But in the last few years, I had lost that love of reading. Reading started to feel like a job, not a joy.

In June, I came across a blog post by Donalyn Miller about her Book a Day challenge on twitter.  Essentially read a book a day throughout the summer and tweet about it with the hashtag #bookaday.  This was my opportunity to celebrate reading, connect with a community who loved reading and reclaim the joy I had lost.

It was a beautiful summer of reading.  I read YA books and picture books, graphic novels and beginning chapter books and even one professional resource.  There were many nights that I stayed up long after the house was quiet engrossed in a good book.

I spent the summer nurturing reading in myself and in doing so I realized the importance of nurturing reading in our students. While we can not discount  the importance of our students having time in their day to read books at a level that they can read independently to build fluency.  We also must nurture a love and excitement of reading in our classrooms.

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My Story, Your Story, Our Story

Posted on: August 20th, 2015 by lschwartz 2 Comments

I always find it both strange and comforting how things happen together in a way that are not connected, but end up becoming connected.

My friend and colleague, Chris Loat recently returned from the ADE 2015 conference in Florida.  One hot summer night surrounded by mosquitos, he talked about the theme of story at the conference and the importance of telling our story and the role that technology can play in storytelling. Our conversation, my passion for all things literacy and my inquiry into children’s oral story telling really got me excited about the role that story could play in my own professional learning.

A couple week’s later, I came across Chris Kennedy’s blog post about our local Richmond paper closing its doors after 83 years and how we as educators need to find ways to fill that void and tell our stories. The stories that local papers have always shared.

These two events were sending a message loud and clear.  It is time for me to dust off this space and begin to tell my own story.

What has prevented me from using this space, has been my own struggle with perfectionism. The fear that the content is not quite right.  But I am both inspired and excited to use this space to tell my own story.  My story as a teacher consultant who is passionate about literacy.  My story as a teacher who believes we can teach all children to read.  But just as important as teaching every child to read is showing every child the joy of reading and give them ample reasons to be life long readers and learners.  My story of using the draft documents of our transformed B.C. curriculum with other educators in our district.  My story of technology integration in literacy. My story about my questions, my readings and my learning.

We all have stories to tell and in telling our stories we make sense of our world, connect with others and look at things with fresh eyes. I am both excited and nervous to share my story this year.

“The world is shaped by two things — stories told and the memories they leave behind.” – Vera Nazarian